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Getting Ready for Game against France

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Getting Ready for Game against France

Iceland vs. France

Getting ready for the game. Photo: Ólöf Þórarinsdóttir/Facebook.

The Pigalle District in Paris, often dubbed the Red Light District, is blue this afternoon, packed with thousands of Icelanders, wearing their blue jerseys. They are on their way to Stade de France where the Icelandic men’s national football team meets France at 9 pm local time, 7 pm Icelandic time, in the quarter-finals of the EURO 2016.

There has been drizzle in Paris today and a temperature of 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees F). Numerous Icelanders left Iceland this morning to be able to attend tonight’s game. Others, who had already crossed the ocean, arrived by train. For those traveling alone, it was easy to spot their countrymen at train stations, readily recognizable by their blue jerseys.

Security will be very tight during the game, according to RÚV. Víðir Reynisson, director of security for the Icelandic Football Association, states that the longer into the championship, the tighter the security. He told RÚV that as a result, getting into the stadium will take longer than getting into previous games. Three security gates have to be passed before entering the stadium.

Fireworks that exploded by the Eiffel Tower last night caused panic among people who had gathered there to watch the game between Germany and Italy. People started running away from the area, causing some to be injured, although not severely.

Here at home, several municipalities will be broadcasting the game outdoors. A number of people had already gathered on Arnarhóll in downtown Reykjavík two hours before the game was to begin. Some streets downtown have been closed to traffic today. The residents of Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Akureyri and Akranes will all have the option of watching the game outdoors.

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