LONDON, November 16 – Armed police will be deployed around London’s Wembley Stadium at an international friendly between England and France on Tuesday as part of increased security measures following the Paris attacks, a senior officer said.
“We want everyone coming along to the match to know that officers will be out there in increased numbers, to keep them safe,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Terry of London’s Metropolitan Police Force said in a statement on Monday.
“This will include extra, highly visible, armed officers who will be patrolling around Wembley Stadium,” Terry said.
He added: “Our plans are purely precautionary and not as a result of any specific intelligence.”
The officer said that the friendly would be “a more sombre event than usual as we all reflect the senseless loss of life that Paris suffered”.
He asked ticket holders should arrive early ahead of the 8:00pm local time (2000 GMT) kick-off and warned that there would be “additional entry searches” at Wembley that could take longer than usual.
“We will be working closely with colleagues from British Transport Police who will have a presence throughout the transport network,” he said.
Friday’s attacks touched football particularly closely, with three suicide bombers blowing themselves up outside the Stade de France as France played Germany.
The cousin of France midfielder Lassana Diarra was one of at least 129 people killed, while the sister of his team-mate Antoine Griezmann escaped unhurt from the assault on the Bataclan concert hall.