Great success for the 2nd EPFL Workshop on Stadia Safety & Security at Leagues’ Competition


Cooperation among stakeholders is vital to guarantee a safe environment for football fans

The EPFL saw major success with the 2nd edition of the EPFL International Workshop on Stadia Safety & Security at Leagues’ Competition. Co-organised with The Swiss Football League and hosted at Zurich Letzigrund Stadium, the two-day events gathered major experts from all over Europe to discuss and promote the development and implementation of best practices on Safety, Security and Fan Management in Professional Football. 

The Workshop, chaired by EPFL CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros and Cathy Long, Chairwoman of the EPFL Committee on Stadia Safety & Security, counted with the massive participation of European Leagues and Clubs to testify the non-stop learning process and knowledge sharing among the football family promoted by the EPFL Association. This edition focused on several issues of sensitive importance for the audience such as mechanisms to build better relations with fans and understand their behaviour at football matches, stadia modernisation and its impact on safety and security and a greater event, practices used to fight against violence, lack of security and anti-social behaviour in stadia and the role of national public authorities in the eradication of violence surrounding football, among others.

Furthermore, the participants brainstormed  about policies and procedures used in enhancing security surrounding football matches, with the analysis of practices and measures applied in each country, the existing legal frameworks (national law, sporting regulations, code of conducts for spectators, etc.) and public policy related with the security and fight against violence surrounding professional football matches.

At the end of the meeting, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros explained: “Safety and Security is an on-going priority for the EPFL and our Member Leagues. Our goal is to provide safe football grounds, pleasant atmospheres and top-class entertainment to the millions of fans who attend football matches every weekends. This Workshop has exceeded all expectations. During two days, leagues, clubs, FIFA, UEFA, police forces, public authorities and of course the fans shared best practices on how to prevent and eradicate violence and spectators disorders, which fortunately have been decreasing during the last years. To tackle this deep-rooted social problem and ensure a Football 100% positive, the strategy has to be global, inclusive and proactive, with enhanced dialogue and cooperation between all those who care about this beautiful game. This is our commitment and our day-to-day job”.

On the same line, Cathy Long: “This has been a great opportunity to learn the different problems faced by the leagues and how everyone is working to keep fans safe at matches. The common theme has been that cooperation is vital. We all have a responsibility to create the right conditions for a safe and welcoming environment and clubs, fans and authorities have to work together to prevent problems from occurring”.

The EPFL event counted with the participation of Swiss Football League CEO Claudius Schäfer who stated: “The goal of keeping matches as peaceful as possible can only be reached by means of cooperation between the different stakeholders. Representatives of many of these stakeholders were present at this Workshop, and that made the event a very successful platform of dialogue”.

FIFA was also present represented by Michel D?Hooghe, Member of FIFA Executive Committee and Chairman of FIFA Medical Committee: “It is very, very important that organisations such as the EPFL host that kind of events for football directors in order to fully take into account the emergency dimension of stadia safety and security on the pitch as well as outside of it. In this context, this Workshop has also shown that there is a need to integrate that emergency dimension in the architecture and construction of new venues, the equipment which they feature and the training of their staff”.

Jean-Philippe d�Hallivill�e, PSG Head of Security: �I am very satisfied with this Workshop where the clubs and European football organisations were able to exchange their point of view and their experiences on issues as sensitive as stadia security. Congratulations as well to the organisation, which was top-notch”.

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