Germany prepare for Paris return after November attacks
By Karolos Grohmann
EVIAN, France (Reuters) - Germany will return to the Stade de France for their Euro 2016 match against Poland on Thursday for the first time since the deadly November attacks in Paris but the world champions said on Tuesday they felt comfortable with the security arrangements.
The Germans were playing France in a friendly game on the evening of Nov. 13 when several attacks were launched across the capital by armed gunmen.
Three blew themselves up outside the Stade de France with the explosion clearly heard inside. The game continued and the Germans were then forced to spend the night holed up in the bowels of the stadium before racing to the airport at dawn.
The bomb and gun attacks killed 130 people across Paris and security fears also forced the cancellation days later of Germany's friendly international against Netherlands.
The events left players and officials in shock and the German Football Association offered psychological support to the team.
"We feel safe here at the moment and we are not thinking about it," said defender Jerome Boateng, whose family will not travel France over safety fears.
"We are focusing on the sporting angle. We will prepare and travel just like we did for our game in Lille (against Ukraine) and prepare well. The rest is not relevant for now."
The Germans have tightened security around the team for the tournament, with access roads to the team hotel in the sleepy town of Evian blocked and dozens of heavily-armed security forces patrolling the surrounding area.
"We have our tasks and others have their own tasks. We feel secure and we are not discussing that," said fellow central defender Shkodran Mustafi, who like Boateng was also present in Paris in November.
The tournament kicked off last week with France still under a state of emergency and more than 90,000 police, soldiers and private security agents deployed across the country to ensure safety for the month-long competition.
Germany, who won their opening group C encounter with Ukraine 2-0, face Poland before taking on Northern Ireland in their final group game next week.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ian Chadband)