UEFA thanks France for mainly smooth running of Euro 2016
UEFA on Friday thanked French organizers for the mainly smooth running of Euro 2016
European football's ruling body UEFA on Friday thanked French organizers, authorities and security forces for the mainly smooth running of the Euro 2016 tournament.
Senior UEFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar Llona said "France showed that adversity can be overcome and how to stand tall" at the tournament which ends on Sunday and took place amid tight security in the wake of the November terror attacks in Paris.
"France, this great country, has demonstrated under difficult circumstances how to marvellously organize one of the biggest sports events in the world," he said.
UEFA acknowledged initial problems highlighted by the fan violence around the Russia v England group game, with acting general secretary Theodor Theodoridis saying that swift action from UEFA - such as Russia's suspended disqualification from the tournament - had helped ease tensions.
But Theodoridis also spoke of a new breed of hooligan from Russia who had come to France only to fight.
Villar Llona meanwhile said: "There were problems at the beginning but the memory is of an exceptional carnival atmosphere. That's what this tournament is about.
"Only football can bring people together in this way. The slogan could have been liberte, egalite, fraternite. It is a real lesson for society," he said, referring to the national motto of France which translates as "liberty, equality, fraternity."