IOC President Thomas Bach speaking to AFP. GETTY IMAGES. GETTY IMAGES

The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, confirmed this Friday that the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which will take place between 26 July and 11 August, will be held on the Seine.

Responding to growing concerns over the security of the event amid the threat of possible terrorist attacks, he said, “The decision is clear: it's going to be on the Seine," he told radio station El Mon a RAC1. However, the former German fencer and Olympic medallist insisted that although this was the initial idea, the French authorities were "considering all scenarios and updating them every day."

"Unfortunately, we are at a time when every major event has to take into account the security problems in the area. The French authorities have been doing this for a long time and they tell us about their preparations, so we have a lot of confidence in them. It will be a unique experience," he added.

Asked if there would be an Olympic truce in the wars in Ukraine and Gaza during the Olympics, Bach stated, "The resolution on an Olympic truce comes from the United Nations, but we are trying to unite the world in a peaceful competition to show that (peace) is possible despite all these conflicts."

Asked if he had been in contact with Benjamin Netanhayu (Israel), Volodymir Zelenski (Ukraine) or Vladimir Putin (Russia), Bach later said "one of the three", but insisted it was "not his job" to get involved in politics. "I talk to dozens of heads of state, but the IOC has to stick to its role. We have no mandate and we have no power."

Commenting on the banning of Russian and Belarusian athletes from the opening ceremony, he stressed that the decisions were "a consequence of the violation of the Olympic Charter by the Russian Olympic Committee" and also "because they have annexed sports organisations from the territory of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee".

"According to our tradition and our mission, we cannot punish athletes for the actions of their leaders. That is why we allow them to participate individually as neutral athletes, but they cannot take part in a parade with the delegations," he added.

Bach also discussed the situation in Israel, saying it was "completely different" from the "30 years of peaceful coexistence" of the Olympic committees in Israel and Palestine. "No one has annexed territory belonging to the other, but they have respected each other's responsibilities," he concluded.