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HOME OFFICE/UEFA RESPONSE ON SEVILLE

Posted on 26 June 2007  - 12:00

The Home Office has issued a release following their discussions with UEFA in which they identify the need to move away from an over-reliance on riot police and to increase the use of well-trained stewards.

The Home Office has issued a release following their discussions with UEFA in which they identify the need to move away from an over-reliance on riot police and to increase the use of well-trained stewards.

Both the Home Office and UEFA were in receipt of eye witness reports from Club officials and supporters, English police delegations, consular staff and Football Association security advisers.

Their thanks are contained within the release below…

FOOTBALL MATCH SECURITY STANDARDS TO BE IMPROVED ACROSS EUROPE

A new European partnership of governments, police and UEFA has been formed to further improve security arrangements at international club and country football matches in Europe.

Amid concerns about wide variations in safety and security arrangements at international football matches, UEFA - European football’s governing body - has committed to help develop a range of measures designed to minimise security risks at football matches.

The Home Office Review of events involving English football supporters last season in Rome (AS Roma v Manchester United) and Seville (Sevilla v Tottenham Hotspur) - and subsequent events in Athens (Liverpool v AC Milan) - gave added impetus to this pan-European partnership which includes UEFA.

Under the new pan-European partnership, experts from the UK and other European countries will work closely together with UEFA to:
• Ensure that all European football stadia possess integrated crowd management and safety and security arrangements, in part to avoid over-reliance on the use of riot police to undertake crowd management functions;

• Provide updated and comprehensive core safety and security standards for international football events;

• Develop pan-European training for stadium safety officers, stewards and police; and

• Ensure that safety and security preparations and arrangements for international football tournaments including high profile European club matches are subject to early and ongoing multi-national expert evaluation.

In the wake of the incidents in Rome and Seville, involving Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur supporters respectively, Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker announced a review of events at the matches and sought eye witness reports from English police delegations, consular staff, football clubs concerned, Football Association security advisers and the supporters involved. The review also took account of events at the Champions League Final in Athens.

The review raised concerns about crowd management tactics, wide variations in safety and security arrangements in stadia across the continent and supporter behaviour. The review, which was discussed with UEFA, stresses the need for consistent safety and security standards across Europe.

Vernon Coaker said: “I am delighted that UEFA has agreed to work in partnership with safety and security experts from the UK and other European countries to help ensure football supporters can attend matches in Europe in a safe and secure environment. This is great news for English fans and for all football supporters across Europe.

“I am grateful to Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and their supporters for the eye witness accounts of crowd disturbances last season which informed the Home Office Review to UEFA and gave added impetus to this new European partnership.

“Supporters have a crucial role to play. English fans have achieved a great deal since the dark days of mass hooliganism but they must build on their improved image and reputation by taking further responsibility. Supporters must play their part in reducing the risks.”

UEFA President Michel Platini said: “Good stadium infrastructures, sophisticated safety and security measures, the de-escalation of the style of policing and better supporter behaviour are all part of a drive to make European football venues safer and more secure.

“The ongoing work of the pan-European governmental and police football experts and UEFA is crucial in ensuring continued improvement of safety standards.”