UEFA has emphasised that the safety and security of everyone at European football matches is crucial for the future of the game, at a meeting in Amsterdam with European security experts.
Article top media content
UEFA has emphasised that the safety and security of everyone at European football matches is crucial for the future of the game.
The message was put across at a safety and security meeting in Amsterdam organised jointly by UEFA and the pan-European body of football safety and security experts ahead of this season's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group-stage kick-offs.
The annual meeting was attended by representatives of European police and governmental agencies, security officers of UEFA and national football associations, security officers of the clubs taking part in this season's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group stages, and National Football Information Points.
Participants exchanged general and specific information on international police co-operation and co-operation between clubs. They were also briefed, among other things, about the key roles of UEFA officials at matches, UEFA regulations, and key safety and security requirements.
UEFA took radical measures in the interests of football ahead of the new season, including anti-racism guidelines whereby racist conduct by spectators could see matches being suspended or abandoned by the referee.
In his welcome video message, UEFA General Secretary David Taylor said: "Football is a beautiful game and we need to take good care of it. We must be tough and have zero tolerance about things that could destroy the game. It is also essential to have a uniform approach to safety and security throughout Europe and ensure that the regulations are not only written but also implemented."
Safe and secure
The UEFA General Secretary highlighted that without safety and security there is no football. "We need to make sure that our game is safe and secure for the fans, for the players, and for everyone involved. Every European match is important. All together we can make it remarkable. The key is effective partnerships between stadium management, match organisers, police and authorities.
"I invite all of you – the police officers, the National Football Information Points, the clubs and national associations' security officers, and all the key European governmental and policing agencies to become our ally in the collective effort to offer a safe, secure and service-orientated environment to football fans across Europe," Mr Taylor concluded. "Only in this way, can we be certain that football can be played in a friendly atmosphere where the game always takes centre stage."