The French Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced the deployment of some 10,000 police and gendarmes, including 5,000 in Paris and the Paris region, mobilized this Wednesday evening to supervise the celebrations on the sidelines of the semi-final of the World Cup France- Morocco.
Speaking before the National Assembly, Darmanin specified that “10,000 police and gendarmes will be mobilized. 5,000 in the Paris region, and particularly around the Champs-Elysées and 5,000 outside the Paris region”.
The Champs-Elysées will not be closed to traffic, contrary to the wish of the mayor of the arrondissement of Paris where the famous avenue is located to close it to traffic, he further said.
On the other hand, added the minister, many accesses to the Paris ring road as well as metro and suburban train (RER) stations will be closed.
It will be a question, continued Darmanin, “of framing these often family demonstrations of joy, in a context of terrorist threat”.
The minister’s entourage specified that “2,200 police and gendarmes would be mobilized in Paris”. They were 1,500 last Saturday during the qualification of Morocco and France in the semi-finals.
Prior to the meeting, the prefects were also asked, we learned from a police source, to organize “operations to visit the common areas (cellars, roofs of buildings, garbage rooms likely to conceal fireworks, firecrackers or dangerous objects), in particular in the districts having known incidents ” last Saturday.
The prefects will have to proceed “with the removal of garbage cans, construction barriers or any other material that can be used as a weapon by destination, in the perimeters identified as likely to accommodate large crowds at the end of the match”.
Last Saturday, in Paris, 20,000 people gathered on the Champs-Elysées to celebrate the qualification of Morocco, then that of France.
There had been a hundred arrests in Paris “of which 3/4 were French”, argued Gérald Darmanin.
At the national level, 170 arrests had been recorded.
In total, nearly 54,000 French people are established in the Moroccan kingdom and in return, the available statistics show more than a million Moroccans living in France, with in particular many bi-national marriages.
The cultural and economic ties between France and its former protectorate, which became independent in 1956, remain dense, also helping to give this match a special emotional dimension.