More police officers to be deployed in London during England World Cup clash

The Metropolitan Police said it expects venues to be ‘extremely busy’ on Saturday as the Three Lions take on France.

Metropolitan Police officers
Metropolitan Police officers

Extra police officers will be deployed in London with large swathes of English and French football fans expected to flock to the city for the World Cup quarter-final clash.

The Metropolitan Police said it expects venues to be “extremely busy” on Saturday evening as the Three Lions take on Les Bleus.

As England supporters descend on bars and pubs across the capital, hundreds of French expats will attend a sold-out screening at Zoo Bar & Club in Leicester Square, hosted by the founders of the Frogs in London app.

The group, which hosted a screening for the 2018 World Cup final, which France won, said 4,000 French people celebrated in Piccadilly Circus for hours after the match.

The force said: “The Met is prepared for the England vs France World Cup match on Saturday evening.

“We are expecting central London to be extremely busy, with many fans going to venues to watch the game.

“There is a policing plan in place, with additional officers deployed around those venues.

“Officers will be highly visible and engaging with people to prevent crime, disorder or anti-social behaviour.”

The Met would not disclose the number of extra officers deployed.

Tim Helmstetter, who organised the France screening, said he is looking for another venue after selling out 760 tickets.

Mr Helmstetter told PA: “We’re trying but can’t get another bar as they all want English fans.”

He said: “It’s going to be mostly French people, we’ve got screens, projectors, French music and drinks.

“Everybody’s confident because we’ve got a really good team this year, but we are still scared because in this World Cup, you never know.

“I think we’ve got a better team than England but they are playing really well too – I spoke with some English people and I think they are more scared about the game.”

However, Mr Helmstetter said he does not want fans to congregate after the match if France win on Saturday, to avoid upsetting England supporters.

He went on: “We feel like we’re English citizens now, we’re excited but we didn’t want this game.

“Hopefully we will win but even if England win we’ll still be happy.”

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