Abu Dhabi's Yas Rotana Hotel witnessed this morning, February 12th, the start of the Safety and Security workshop organised by the Pro League Committee in collaboration with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as part of the AFC League Development Programme (LDP). The workshop spans over two days.
Mr Waleed Al Hosani, PLC Acting CEO kicked-off the workshop, welcoming representatives of clubs & local police as well as AFC & UEFA representatives who will be conducting the workshop; Mr. Shahin Rahmani - Stadium and Security Manager at the AFC's Competitions Division, Mr. Steve Frosdik and Mr. Gerald Westlake Toms, both consultants at UEFA.
Al Hosani explained that this workshop comes on the back of multiple earlier workshops and field visits organised by PLC in an effort to develop the safety and security systems in stadiums, "We all aspire to develop the safety and security systems in the country in general and in our competitions in particular. Through these workshops, we aim to train those involved in stadiums' security fields to deal with all safety, security and service challenges during matches", Al Hosani added, "As you know, we are in the process of preparing special regulations including all safety and security requirements to be implemented from the start of next season, 2017/18. Therefore, I invite you all to concentrate in order to benefit from the experience of the lecturers, and please do not hesitate to pose any questions, comments or suggestions that may benefit all of us".
Mr. Steve Frosdik presented on the areas the workshop aims to cover over the two days while Mr. Shahin Rahmani showcased the roles and responsibilities of clubs in the field of safety and security, highlighting case histories of incidents that happened in stadiums and how they were handled.
Mr. Gerald Westlake, UEFA Consultant, presented a lecture about the history of stadium disasters since 1902 and until 2017, causing fatalities such as the collapse of Ibrox Stadium stands, the Bradford City Stadium fire, the Bastia Stadium Stampede in Corsica and the recent stampede in a stadium in Angola last week.
Mr. Frosdik again presented on the lessons learnt from the various stadium disaster, highlighting improper infrastructure in addition to poor safety and security standards as factors that cause stadium disasters. Frosdik focused on clarifying the split of responsibilities between police and club to ensure fans safety, develop guiding system and security management, provide medical services and fire protection, CCTV system, stadium announcer system, ticketing mechanism and coordination with the police, clear instructions, clubs responsibility for fans behaviour, crisis management team and services and procedures.
Frosdik summarised the lessons to be learnt from past stadium disasters in working together for a mechanism to guarantee safety, security and services, understanding the basics of safety and security, improving the quality of infrastructure, improving the quality of safety, security and services management as well as improving the quality of safety, security and services operations.
The workshop continued with discussion about the development of police practices in securing stadiums and the role police play in guaranteeing safety and security, especially with regards to the mechanisms of communication with the fans and engaging in a way that reduces tensions that may arise in some matches.
The safety and security workshop continues tomorrow, Monday the 13th of February with more lectures and case studies.