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France foils plan to attack Olympic Games football stadium | World News

France says it has foiled an attack targeting one of the football stadiums being used for this summer’s Olympic Games.

The country’s security forces arrested an 18-year-old from Chechnya earlier this month in the southeastern city of Saint-Etienne, interior minister Gerald Darmanin said.

According to investigators, the man was preparing an attack on the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne.

He planned to target spectators and police forces in order to “die and become a martyr”, the minister’s statement added.

The Paris Olympics will take place between 26 July and 11 August, and will be held under heavy security.

President Emmanuel Macron has said the opening ceremony could be scaled down if the security threat is deemed too high.

There are considerable security concerns around the ceremony, which will bring together 100 leaders and involve athletes sailing down the River Seine with huge crowds at either embankment.

More on Paris 2024 Olympics

Organisers have decided to scale back spectator numbers from 600,000 to 300,000. They have also decided not to give tourists free access to the ceremony as planned.

Area around Paris's Place de la Concorde cordoned off for the Olympics. Pic: Reuters
Area around Paris’s Place de la Concorde cordoned off for the Olympics. Pic: Reuters

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The Geoffroy-Guichard stadium is one of several venues to be used for the Olympics’ football tournament.

Originally built in the 1930s, it has been used for major sporting and cultural events, including the 1998 World Cup and concerts, and has undergone several renovations.

Football matches will take place across various French cities before the final at the Stade de France on the outskirts of Paris.

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