Following the terrorist attacks in Paris where France’s national stadium was targeted, Southampton FC, along with the other 19 Premier League clubs, were issued with a new security guidance. This assessment will mean it is likely that saint’s fans will face tougher security checks before games.
The police, government and security advisors have all been in contact with Premier League officials, providing them with a briefing and a public statement.
“We are actively engaged with our security advisers and the appropriate authorities, including the Home Office and senior representatives from the police, to assess current security guidance to Premier League clubs.
The Premier League statement also added: “There is a club meeting later this week [Thursday 19th of November] where a full security briefing will be given. Following that, further guidance will be issued to the clubs as well as a public statement so fans are fully aware of what to expect when arriving at stadiums.”
Three bombs exploded in the vicinity of the Stade de France, at the time that France was hosting Germany in a friendly. A suicide bomber had a ticket for the game, but fortunately thanks to the security checks at the stadium’s gate stadium, his explosive vest was found. The Stade de France has a capacity of 80,000 with the blast aiming to provoke panic and a deadly stampede.
In the wake of the callous attacks in Paris, the footballing world is visibly affected. Stadiums during football matches are now highly considered to be potential targets to a terrorist attack.
Not only football games in the UK have been affected as security checks prior to El Clasico match in Spain were increased. In Belgium, Lokeren’s match against Anderlecht was postponed during fears of a ‘Paris style’ attack in Brussels. Extra police were needed to match the raised terror alert in the Belgian capital and, subsequently, could not be present for the ‘high risk’ football match.
Last Tuesday, England fans joined French supporters in singing La Marselleise, the national anthem of France, in a rousing tribute and act of solidarity where the 129 victims were honoured. The national anthem was again played across the country before the weekend’s Premier League fixtures.