The success of the recently concluded UEFA EURO 2016 Football Championships held across France this month provides “a further proof point of Paris’ and France’s first-class expertise and experience in hosting major international sports events,” a statement by the Paris 2024 Olympic bid committee claimed Tuesday.
Touting the safe and secure staging of matches in 10 cities across France including 12 games and ceremonies at the proposed Olympic Stadium – Stade de France in Saint-Denis, organizers say that they are ready to host in 2024.
The Stade de France was attacked by three suicide bombers during the November Paris terrorist strike but effective security was credited with limiting the victim death toll to one despite a stadium packed with almost 80,000 football fans including French President Francois Hollande.
The Euro 2016 completed without such an incident.
However at the national stadium and at the Fan Zone situated under the Eiffel Tower riots by agitated fans broke out on a few occasions leading to dozens of arrests. At one point riot police used tear gas and water canons to control the capacity crowd at the central Paris venue that reportedly welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors over the course of the competition.
Leading up to the tournament angered labour unions staged strikes resulting in transportation delays and uncollected garbage along the streets.
But despite the host nation’s upset defeat in the final against Portugal, the French rallied behind their team that brought the crowds back to the streets after months of fear following the November attacks. Sport made the tournament a resounding success.
Paris 2024 Co-Chairman Bernard Lapasset said in the statement Tuesday “France already has a first-class track record in hosting major sports events and the successful EURO is further evidence of the country’s exceptional hosting capabilities.”
“Paris 2024 aims to harness the passion and desire for live sport in France and channel this energy into our bid to deliver an unforgettable Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo added “throughout the month long tournament we have seen the true Parisian spirit of joy and inclusivity and it would be wonderful to replicate the carnival atmosphere and elite sporting action during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024.”passion, anticipation and excitement. Throughout the month long tournament we have seen the true Parisian spirit of joy and inclusivity and it would be wonderful to replicate the carnival atmosphere and elite sporting action during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024.”
Paris faces rivals Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome in its efforts to win the right to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee will choose a winner September 2017.