Champions League Matches Under Tightened Security Amid Threats by Islamic State Supporters

Security measures at Champions League games have been significantly heightened following threats against venues published by a media outlet supporting the Islamic State group.

Ministers in France and Spain have confirmed the implementation of enhanced security protocols in response to the threats, which included several images of stadiums hosting quarter-final ties.

While UEFA assured that matches in Madrid, Paris, and London would proceed as planned, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin emphasized the reinforced security measures in place for the PSG vs. Barcelona match in Paris. He highlighted recent warnings by IS regarding sports venues, prompting authorities to engage closely with security partners.

Despite the absence of specific references to particular matches or events in the jihadist images, Spain’s sports minister, Pilar Alegría, urged calm and revealed the deployment of over 2,000 police and civil guard officers for games in Madrid. The acting mayor of Madrid, Inmaculada Sanz, reassured the public, stating that while security forces remain vigilant, there is no indication of an imminent threat.

Meanwhile, in London, where Arsenal faced Bayern Munich, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan assured the public of a robust policing plan. He acknowledged online and media reports regarding potential targeting of matches but emphasized proactive measures to ensure the safety of attendees.

The threats, disseminated through a pro-IS media channel, underscored the heightened security concerns across Europe. While UEFA confirmed plans for matches to proceed with appropriate security arrangements, the incident has raised alarm among authorities and sports organizations.

With the Euro 2024 European Championships scheduled to be hosted in Germany later this year, concerns about stadium security have intensified. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser emphasized the need for heightened vigilance and strengthened security measures in light of evolving threats.

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