Hollande: Cancelling Euro 2016 never a possibility

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The French premier has admitted that there is a "threat" but believes that holding the competition is the right thing to do in the wake of recent events

French President Francois Hollande has stressed that the notion of postponing or cancelling Euro 2016 has never been raised, saying the tournament is a way to respond to recent terror attacks in Europe.

Tuesday will see France play at the Stade de France for the first time since the area around the venue was targeted as part of a series of coordinated attacks on the city of Paris in November, in which 130 people were killed.

Belgium's friendly with Portugal has been moved from Brussels to Leiria following last week's attacks in the Belgian capital that claimed the lives of 35 people.

However, France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls has previously insisted Euro 2016 will go ahead and Hollande said of the tournament: "It's a major event as it's a sports competition, but we wanted to make it a cultural, social, economic and to a certain extent a political event in its best meaning.

"This means a challenge to be together, for unity, for respect, tolerance and within the actual context, it's a way to respond to hatred, division, fear and horror.

"It has never been questioned that it would be postponed or cancelled. What would have been said about France or what would have been said about Europe?

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"We are facing a threat. It exists, we can't deny it, refute it or reject it. We know what happened in Paris and Saint-Denis. We were there.

"The [French Football Federation] president [Noel Le Graet] and a lot of people here were there, at Stade de France.

"We do know what happened at Brussels. But Euro 2016 is rightly a response [to the attacks]."

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