PARIS, Aug 22: With Paris Saint-Germain looking to become only the second French club to win the Champions League, around 3,000 police will be deployed on the Champs-Elysees and outside the club�s stadium on Sunday night to prevent wild fan celebrations amid coronavirus concerns.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced the measures on Saturday. To encourage preventative measures, 2,000 masks will be distributed to fans who arrive without them. In a bid to keep the numbers down, 17 subway stations will be shut and three ring road entry points into Paris will be closed off.
�Not only so things take place in the best way possible in terms of public security, but obviously so that the wearing of masks can be ensured,� Darmanin said.
PSG faces five-time champion Bayern Munich in Lisbon, but all eyes will be on the game in bars and cafes back home. With virus cases increasing, authorities want to avoid scenes like on Tuesday, when raucous fans celebrated reaching the final for the first time in the club�s 50-year history.
Thousands poured onto the famed Champs-Elysees, some on scooters or hanging out of cars, lighting up the night sky with flares as they danced and cheered wildly. Many were without face masks as social distancing disappeared entirely amid the hugging and jubilation.
Police arrested 36 people after throngs at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe degenerated into scattered violence and shop windows were smashed. But police authorities were also widely criticised for not anticipating the situation properly and deploying only a dozen vans. � AP