Authorities: 2,400 security force in Lens for England-Wales


ARRAS, France (AP) — French authorities say a 2,400-strong security force is being deployed in Lens as the town prepares for an influx of 40,000 to 50,000 England and Wales fans for Thursday’s European Championship game.

The policing operation in Euro 2016’s smallest host city and its 35,000-capacity stadium has been intensified after clashes involving England and Russia fans around their opening Group B game in Marseille.

Regional administration head Fabienne Buccio says 1,200 police officers and the same number of private security guards will be in Lens, whose population can fit in the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Police will be at the stadium to help separate fans. UEFA acknowledged there were segregation problems at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome.

Buccio says supermarkets around Lens will be banned from selling alcohol on Wednesday and Thursday.