Lyon tightens security ahead of Europa League Final

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By Chris Pilcher
Lyon tightens security ahead of Europa League Final

The French city of Lyon prepares to host the Europa League Final on Wednesday between Olympique Marseille and Atletico Madrid. Security is tight with concerns over fan hooliganism.

Cyril Fourneris reports from Lyon's city centre:

"Olympique de Marseille versus Atletico de Madrid is quite an explosive match-up here in Lyon, with a strong rivalry between Marseille's and Lyon's own club, Olympique Lyonnais. Some Marseille fans have promised to "break everything" in Lyon, songs that have given cold sweats here. Exceptional security measures have been set out".

Around 1,250 policemen have been deployed with everything being done to avoid fans clashing outside the stadium.

"The event must remain festive"

Etienne Stoskopf is Rhone's Deputy Head of Security and Defence. He says:

"This is a final. We have set up a system that is twice as high as what we mobilized during the Euro 2016 games. It's an event that must first remain festive. But we will be extremely vigilant, because as you know there is a certain amount of antagonism between supporters and it's this risk that we want to prevent."

Lyon's own team, Olympique Lyonnais, was knocked out in the Europa League Quarter-Finals narrowly to CSKA Moscow. Some fans are still bitter. Here are some of their views:

"They play in our stadium so I think it's a little insulting, as we did not qualify for the final".

"Some will probably come to Lyon without any ticket, so they may cause trouble, alcohol unfortunately will not help."

"Employees' safety is at stake"

Among local restaurant and bar workers, there are mixed views over the prospect of hooliganism.

Jérémy works at the restaurant, Atelier de Divonne. He says; "No, there won't be any fight. This is just fun, a joke."

Madame Christiane Mounier, Restaurant Mounier, says; "I will not be afraid, but we'll see. If they tell us to close we will close. It's the safety of the employees that is in stake."

François Tibery, Restaurant Chabert, says; "I think it will be fine. But with the pubs next door, the confrontations that can happen, I advise people to watch the game at home!"