— Published 26 October 2023

The decision to call up the army will be taken in early 2024

Will the French army be called in to reinforce security at the Paris 2024 Games? With less than 275 days to go until the event, the question has not yet been decided. And it won’t be until early next year. The Minister for Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, explained at a Senate hearing on the 2024 budget on Wednesday 25 October that the priority was still to use private security forces. “The question of using the army has not arisen for the moment, but I have said on several occasions that we are, at least until the beginning of 2024, prioritising all the efforts we have to make in the field of private security“, she told the senators. For several months now, sources in the government and the armed forces have been calling for a decision this autumn, or by the end of the year at the latest. The Cour des Comptes also insisted on the need to take a decision in October. But Amélie Oudéa-Castéra stressed: “We need to continue our efforts to train even more people in these private security professions. We need to step up our efforts to match the Paris 2024 OCOG contracts awarded to a number of private security companies with the people we are training and recruiting.” The Organising Committee alone has set its security force requirements at between 17,000 and 22,000 people. Several invitations to tender have been issued, with a fourth wave of around ten lots soon to be opened. But the major companies in the sector have so far largely ignored them.