Euro 2024: Border roads to close ahead of Belgium’s clash with France

Roads linking France and Belgium will be closed on Monday during the France-Belgium match in the last 16 of Euro 2024, the mayors of 10 border towns have announced, in a bid to prevent disorder between rival supporters.

“Barricades or checkpoints will be set up at various border crossings from 16.00 on Monday," the two Belgian and eight French mayors said in a joint statement. They will be lifted “during the course of the night, context permitting”.

No mass public events will be organised in the public spaces of the towns concerned, and bans on large gatherings will be imposed. 

“The municipal authorities on both sides of the Leie river hope that the spirit and outcome of the match will be marked by the values of respect, fair play and conviviality,” said the mayor of Comines-Warneton in Hainaut.

"We hope that the spirit and outcome of the match will be marked by the values of respect, fair play and conviviality"

The other Belgian municipality affected is Wervik, in West Flanders. A bridge linking Wervik to its French neighbour, Wervicq-Sud, will be closed to traffic from 17.00 on Monday until 6.00 on Tuesday.

The match kicks off at 18.00 in Düsseldorf. It is the 76th meeting between the Red Devils and France, with a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 at stake. Both teams won only once in the group stages of the competition, finishing second in their pools.

Recent history

Belgium must bounce back from two recent defeats by France. Samuel Umtiti broke fans’ hearts in the 2018 World Cup semi-final in Russia with the winning goal in France's 1-0 victory, while in 2021, Belgium threw away a 2-0 half-time lead in the Nations League semi-final to lose 3-2.

They have never beaten France at the finals of a major tournament, but have won 30 of their 75 meetings. France have won 26, with 19 draws. 

Belgium’s last victory came in June 2015, when they won 4-3 in a friendly at the Stade de France in Paris. Their last victory in a competitive match dates back to September 1981, in the qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup, when they won 2-0 in Brussels. 


The flags of Belgium and France ahead of the Nations League match in Turin, October 2021 © PHOTO MASSIMO RANA / POOL / AFP

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