FAI Chief Security Officer Joe McGlue has issued a warning to fans ahead of tonight's crucial Ireland v Italy match in Lille.
Supporters have been advised to arrive early to the stadium ahead of the 8pm (Irish time) kick-off, as security measures will be considerably ramped up from that of Ireland's previous matches.
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) June 22, 2016
The information states:
All supporters without tickets are advised to not travel to the stadium as there are no facilities on site. But those with tickets should allow for more time than normal to access the stadium due to extra security checks which will be more thorough than in previous venues.
This release from the FAI came on the back of a minor security issue in the Lille Stadium this morning when the stadium’s media area was evacuated as a precaution after sniffer dogs reportedly caught a suspicious scent while French police were conducting a routine security sweep.
The assembled journalists on scene were asked to leave while French police carried out a further security sweep of the area which didn't turn up anything suspicious.
— donatella scarnati (@donatellaesse) June 22, 2016
The above Tweet, which comes from a journalist for Raisport, is translated as: "Lille Stadium. Everyone out of the TV compound. The police enters".
We understand that journalists, TV crews and other stadium workers were permitted to re-enter the stadium after an hour but security will now be increased even further ahead of tonight's game.
French police had also taken similar measures ahead of the Russia vs Slovakia game in the same stadium last week after a suspicious package was found inside the stadium, but this turned out to be a false alarm.
The good news for Irish fans, however, is that the FAI have confirmed that "drums, bodhrans and different sized flags" have all been approved for entry.