Olympics-Opening ceremony in Stade de France only if major security risk, sports minister says

FILE PHOTO: General view of the Eiffel Tower Stadium, under construction for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, France, April 13, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - France would only move the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympic Games to a stadium if there was a major security risk, as this would mean scrapping the parade on the River Seine and restricting the ceremony to speeches, Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said.

Oudea-Castera told Franceinfo radio on Wednesday that there was "no specific terror threat" to the July 26 ceremony and that holding the event on the Seine remained "the central scenario", but France had prepared alternative plans if security requires it.

Conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine as well as a threat of terrorist attacks have led the French government to raise its security alert to its highest level this year.

"If there was (the likelihood) of an absolute disaster, one can imagine a ceremony strictly limited to protocol," Oudea-Castera said, restricting it to official speeches in the Stade de France stadium.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he was confident the planned Games ceremony with big crowds around the Seine, where some 160 boats would set off for a 6 km journey, would be a huge success.

But, he said, Plan B would be would be to restrict the ceremony to the Trocadero square facing the Eiffel Tower in central Paris - which Oudea-Castera said on Wednesday would preserve its "artistic dimension". Plan C would be to move the event to the Stade de France stadium.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Toby Chopra)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Others

NCAA agrees to 'road map' settlement for college athlete payments
The magnificent 7
HPV vaccine provides real benefits for men, analysis shows
Wild world of sports
Manga mania!
Double celebration as Malaysia beat Thailand regu in World Cup
United front
Swiss BMX rider who beat anxiety eyes second Olympic medal
Olympics-Aussie skateboarding gem pumped for Paris after Tokyo heartbreak
PM Anwar congratulates Malaysian sepak takraw team over World Cup feat

Others Also Read