Düsseldorf, Paris, Zagreb The public viewing zone at the Eiffel Tower is already full hours before the final of the World Cup. “For security reasons, we can no longer admit any more people (…),” the police said on Sunday afternoon on Twitter. The maximum number of viewers of 90,000 has already been reached.
Thousands of fans blocked the entrances to the restricted area on the Champ de Mars, as a dpa reporter reported. At the entrance there were sometimes tumultuous scenes. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said a waiting teenager to his buddy. According to official information, 4,000 security forces were deployed to protect fans in Paris.
Already at the finals of the European Championship in France in 2016 there were similar scenes in the same place. Here, too, the police sealed off the area hours before the game between the hosts and Portugal. Angry reactions were the result, during the game the police had to use tear gas against rioters. The security barriers under the Eiffel Tower were smashed and set on fire. The tumult could hardly be stopped 100 meters in front of the giant screen on which the game was broadcast.
In Zagreb, Croatia, everything initially remained peaceful. On Sunday afternoon tens of thousands of fans gathered in the capital for public viewing. After hours of torrential rain, the sky cleared two hours before kick-off. 50,000 people were expected in the central Jelacic square alone. There were also numerous fan miles in the center, where the game can be seen on big screens. Thousands also gathered in front of the many TV sets in the bars and restaurants of the entertainment street.