How safe will Euro 2024 be?

The European Championship trophy at its presentation in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.  Summer, sun, and soccer. It is often a perfect mix and that was never more the case than in 2006, when Germany hosted the men's World Cup. Now Germany is hosting another major men's football tournament - Euro 2024 - but the impact is unlikely to be the same as 2006 with two major wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip. Sebastian Christoph Gollnow/dpa

Millions of visitors from all over the world, full stadiums and crowds at public viewing events - the men's European Football Championship from June 14 to July 14 poses enormous challenges for the German security forces.

Here, dpa answers the key questions.

Q: How many fans are expected in Germany?

A: The 10 host stadiums and the fan miles will all be full for matches.

"We will see 2.7 million fans in the stadiums and up to 12 million fans in the fan zones in the 10 host cities," said German Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser. Of these, 2.5 million visitors are expected in Berlin, where the final takes place.

The fan zone at the Brandenburg Gate, for example, which contributed to the huge success of the 2006 World Cup, is expected to attract up to 130,000 visitors per match.

Q: What controls do stadium visitors have to be prepared for?

A: Fans will enter the arenas in two stages. At the entrance to the outer security ring, electronic tickets on visitors' mobile phones will be checked by security staff. In addition, the fan and items they have brought with them will be searched.

At the subsequent inner security ring, the ticket is checked again at the turnstile. "If the check is successful, the person is searched again," the organizing committee has announced.

Q: What threats are there?

A: War and tensions in the Middle East and the Russian war in Ukraine could influence the tournament. However, there are many other risks to major events.

"Our focus ranges from the threat of Islamist terror, hooligans and other violent criminals to cyber attacks," said Faeser. Germany and countries such as France have seen a rise in fan violence in recent years.

The organizing committee added that weather-related incidents such as extreme heat, mass panic or technical issues also pose risks.

Q: Which locations are particularly at risk during Euro 2024?

A: In security circles, a distinction is made between hard and soft targets.

"As closed buildings with their access and security controls, stadiums tend to be the former. Attacks on soft targets in public spaces such as stadium entrances, fan miles or public viewings are therefore more likely, as it is more difficult to protect large crowds here," terrorism expert Johannes Saal told dpa, citing a 2023 attack in Brussels as an example.

Two Swedish football fans were shot dead on the sidelines of the Euro qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden. The Islamist terrorist militia Islamic State claimed responsibility.

In 2015, during the Paris attacks, suicide bombers struck outside a match between France and Germany after apparently failing to gain entry. One bystander was killed.

Q: How are the German and state governments preparing for potential threats?

A: The International Police Coordination Center (IPCC) in Neuss is responsible for evaluating security-related information about the tournament and for exchanging information between the federal and state governments. In addition to police officers, experts from the intelligence agencies will also be present.

The focus is on general, organized or politically motivated crime, hooliganism or the monitoring of demonstrations in the vicinity of the venues.

Q: What other security measures are in place?

A: As is usual for such major events, Germany's borders will be more strictly controlled during the European Championship, but this will mainly mean more random checks.

Close co-operation will also be maintained with participating and neighbouring countries to help secure the tournament.

"Police will be supported by well over 300 foreign police officers from the participating nations. There is particularly close cooperation with France for the European Championship in Germany and the Olympic Games in Paris," said an Interior Ministry spokesperson.