Security chiefs have played down reports of the potential for terrorism attacks during next year’s Euro 2008 finals.
Speaking after a two-day summit in Zurich, Martin Jaeggi, head of Switzerland’s security operations for the tournament, said the recent arrests of three people in Austria was not being treated as a genuine threat to Euro 2008.
Police said there were no indications of attacks being planned for next summer and no one had been charged with any crime.
“It seems Euro 2008 was mentioned in passing in talks between these alleged extremists but not in a way that needs to be taken seriously,” Jaeggi said.
“On the other hand it is clearly a good thing that we are receiving this information so we can clarify the situation.”
Jaeggi dismissed suggestions that a riot in the Swiss capital Berne on Saturday reflected badly on the state of police readiness for Euro 2008.
Last weekend more than 20 police officers were injured after left-wing protesters disrupted a rally held by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party.
“I don’t want to comment on what precisely happened in Berne as this is currently under review by the city’s police force,” Jaeggi said.
“When we receive their report we will be able to say if anything needs changing as far as our own preparations are concerned. In general, though, I don’t think we can compare this political event with a sporting tournament which is being planned as a peaceful event.
“We know that police cover is relatively thin in Switzerland with one officer for around every 500 citizens.”
“In our neighbouring countries it is more like one officer for every 300 citizens which is why we have already signed an agreement this week with the French authorities.
“We are in talks with Germany to see what is possible from their end but we will only firm that up once we know how many high-security matches are taking place in Switzerland.”
Euro 2008 runs from June 7 to 29 with Switzerland staging matches in Geneva, Basel, Bern and Zurich. Austria will host games in Innsbruck, Salzburg, Klagenfurt and Vienna.