“Less than a year before the Games, France is seeking reurance with the Rugby World Cup”

VSThis is one – if not the – event not to be missed. The Rugby World Cup, which began on September 8 with the victorious match of the Blues against New Zealandrepresents for France “a big issue”to use the words of the Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, at the beginning of June on RMC Sport.

There is of course the sporting issue, with a French XV still in search of a world title. But there is also, and above all, the organizational issue: that of succeed in hosting a major sporting competition, this World Cup having to serve, in a way, as a dress rehearsal for the Olympic Games and Paralympics in the summer of 2024.

Certainly, this World Cup, by its spread (twenty-seven days of competition in just over seven weeks) or the number of sites (nine) and spectators (2 million, including 600,000 foreigners expected)is incommensurate with what we will have to deal with during the Games – two fifteen days of non-stop competitions, forty sites, nearly 16 million visitors.

However, the challenge is not small: it is a question of demonstrating that France remains capable of hosting a sporting event of international dimension without major incident. The fiasco of the Champions League final at the end of May 2022 in Paris has cast doubt on this. The images of English Liverpool supporters manhandled by the police and attacked by delinquents are anchored in memories.

This requires, first of all, to be “on point with regard to safety”as summarized by Mme Oudéa-Castéra. “The Rugby World Cup is a form of try to score and the Olympics will be the transformation of this try”, for his part, imagined the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, Tuesday September 5 on Franceinfo.

Small safe dishes in large ones

To ensure you cross the goal line, the government has pulled out all the stops for security. “The mobilization of law enforcement is unprecedented”ures Mr. Darmanin, who, on Wednesday, during a press conference, insisted on the implementation over the past year of “zero delinquency” plans, particularly in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis, while specifying that the first threat “is the terrorist threat”.

For this key step between the failing organization of a Champions League final and a global reception of the Games not to be missed, the government also wanted to praise its “considerable progress” on the preparation of such events, through a “new governance” made of a multiplication of ministerial committees, on security, but also on transport, another big issue.

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