UEFA works with its partners to ensure safe, secure and welcoming conditions for all football matches hosted across Europe.
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Stadium and Security Strategy and Development Programme
The importance of Stadium and Security for UEFA is self-evident. Taking the clear lead of UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, Stadium and Security has been at the forefront of stepping up UEFA’s efforts to ensure that football matches are played in a safe, secure and welcoming environment.
Risks and incidents in European football continue to be a cause for concern. Conflicts around Europe and the world mean that our continent is more prone than ever to threats. Because football mirrors society, these problems are reflected in football.
UEFA incidents monitoring during 2018/19 showed that incidents were reported, either inside or outside the stadium, at 58% of matches in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Some 14% of matches had incidents that were serious or worse. The most frequently occurring incident type was the use of pyrotechnics, which was reported at 31% of matches. Detailed reports of serious incidents around Europe and other confederations continue to be published three times a season. Individual incidents profiles are constantly being updated for each national association.
The UEFA Stadium and Security Strategy Programme 2017–21, comprising seven key elements, drives UEFA’s efforts to keep ahead of the risks and incidents. In September 2019, more than 360 participants from national associations, clubs, police and public authorities attended the annual UEFA Stadium and Security Conference to review the previous season, reflect on the lessons learned and kick-start the safety and security planning for UEFA’s main competitions in 2019/20.
The 2017–21 Programme particularly targets national associations which are experiencing the greatest problems, together with countries that will host future finals and UEFA EURO 2020 matches. Any UEFA intervention is based on reviews of a country’s current position (national association and public authorities) and its specific requests. Policy reviews and strategy development are integral to the UEFA interventions and the outcome is always an action plan for a country to take forward.
A highlight of the 2018/19 season was the UEFA Football Violence and Disorder Expert Seminar in January 2019. The seminar was attended by over 200 representatives of national associations and public authorities and sought to address five main questions:
• What is the nature and extent of football violence and disorder across the 55 national associations?
• Who has the lead responsibility for dealing with this problem?
• What are countries currently doing?
• What strategies and measures work and don’t work?
• How can we all make a difference?
Four themes of current concern were identified by participants: intimidation of officials, uncontrolled areas in stadiums, organised fights away from stadiums and the dangers of pyrotechnics.
The participants discussed and evaluated 26 strategies and relevant measures taken across the 55 national associations. They also identified the current obstacles to progress in their own countries and discussed 12 proposals designed to help shape the way forward.
The two main conclusions of the seminar were that there is an urgent need for almost all countries:
1. To implement effective government-led exclusion strategies, i.e. effectively keeping troublemakers away from football matches; and
2. To introduce an independent national system of government-led stadium safety certification/licensing and inspection, i.e. clubs, stadium owners and public authorities should have full control of all areas of the stadium.
Two further key elements of the Stadium and Security Strategy Programme are the delivery of masterclasses on contemporary topics and joint training programmes for individual national associations and their partners in clubs, stadiums, police and the public authorities. During 2018/19, ten such events were staged on multiple days in seven national associations: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, England, Hungary, Moldova and Russia.
The stewarding ‘Train the Trainer’ scheme has also continued to be rolled out and has now been delivered for 27 national associations in Europe and two in Asia. Five new national associations joined the roster in 2018/19: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kosovo and Moldova. To date, more than 600 trainers in Europe have trained over 70,000 stewards using the UEFA method and materials translated by UEFA into their own languages.
Ongoing advisory visits and support have been provided to 13 individual national associations, namely: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal.
Work has continued with the European Union and the Council of Europe on the implementation of the 2016 Convention on Integrated Safety, Security and Service and on preparations for UEFA EURO 2020. UEFA Stadium and Security participated in seven formal events during 2018/19. A new joint EU-UEFA programme for national police training was initiated and this will target five countries over the next two years.
Support for other confederations has included input at workshops both pan-Asian in Malaysia and individually in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. CAF was assisted in setting up its safety and security policies and procedures for the African continent.
In total, Stadium and Security events during 2018/19 involved 1,646 participants over multiple days in Europe and 172 participants in Asia. The feedback from delegates has been consistently excellent.
Finally, a new UEFA Stadium and Security Strategy dashboard has been implemented to allow ready access to strategic, event and incidents-related information on all 55 national associations and other confederations.
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