There will be a certain amount of mood dampening as French authorities plan to impose 24-hour alcohol bans in the Lens when the city hosts European Championship games.
The city’s main stadium, Stade Bollaert-Delelis will host four games next month, including the British derby between England and Wales in Group B.
The alcohol ban will run for 24 hours in Lens on June 16 for the British Derby, from 6am local time to 6 am the next day. Alcohol will be sold within the stadium but not in bars and stores, and French authorities will conduct searches in cars travelling to Lens.
Alcohol is only permitted in the fan zone since fans will not be allowed alcohol in the streets. Fans without tickets for the match or the fan zone were also being told not to travel.
Every other game (Albania-Switzerland, Czech Republic-Turkey, one round-of-16 match) in Lens will also be placed under the same restriction and the same amount of surveillance.
Northern Ireland has also qualified for the tournament, so there will be a British police presence across France to assist their French counterparts in Lens and other Euro 2016 host cities.
In addition, the city’s population of 32,000 citizens could very well be overwhelmed by ticketless
“There is no excuse for violence, disorder or anti-social behaviour at football matches,” said Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for football policing.
“Troublemakers will be dealt with by French police in line with their laws and can expect a banning order on return to the UK.”
Around 250,000 tickets have been sold for the tournament to Britons but police expect between 300,000 and 500,000 to travel to France.