ZURICH, Switzerland (CelebrityAccess) — 14 FIFA member associations in Africa took part in a pilot program designed to enhance stadium security and safety standards.
The pilot program, run in collaboration with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, was aimed at helping to strengthen existing safety and security management practices across 14 member associations from the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations region. Football associations that participated included Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The conclusion of the first pilot program followed a period of consultation that began in January with reps from FIFA as well as stakeholders in the football and stadium industry that included Council of Europe, UEFA, CAF, Sports Grounds Safety Authority, European Group of Football Safety & Security Experts.
The group discussed how to encourage best practice in safety and security management at football stadiums internationally.
The next phase of the pilot program saw representatives from COSAFA attend a two-day workshop hosted by FIFA’s Safety & Security sub-division, CAF and the SGSA. During the workshop, SGSA provided safe-capacity assessments of the participants’ national stadiums and made recommendations based on those findings.
“The introduction of the new FIFA Stadium Safety program will provide an important platform for member associations to enhance existing stadium safety policies in place, as well as playing an important role in raising overall safety management and security standards in football stadia around the world,” said Joyce Cook, Chief Member Associations Officer at FIFA.
“As an important first step in the rollout of this new initiative and building on the historic MoU signed recently by the FIFA President, between FIFA, CAF and the African Union, we are delighted to be working with independent experts from the SGSA in the first pilot program, which will help strengthen stadium safety standards in 14 member associations across the COSAFA region,” Cook added.