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Russia needs personal approach to security issues at football matches — ICSS official

November 11, 2014, 19:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The RFPL signed a landmark partnership agreement with the ICSS in a bid to protect the country’s top football division from possible threats to the safety, security and integrity of the sport
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ICSS Director General Helmut Spahn

ICSS Director General Helmut Spahn

© EPA/PETER KNEFFEL

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. The International Center for Sport Security needs to work more closely and actively with the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) to work out certain measures concerning security and safety during football matches as there is no definite international pattern in this regard and all countries are different.

The RFPL signed on Tuesday a landmark partnership agreement with the ICSS in a bid to protect the country’s top football division from possible threats to the safety, security and integrity of the sport.

Speaking at a news conference after the signing of the agreement, ICSS Director General Helmut Spahn said the signing of the partnership with Russia’s top football division is a significant, but still only the first step and working groups will be formed in the coming weeks to define the particular areas to start the joint work with.

“First of all, we have to take into consideration that every country is different,” Spahn said. “We are working with a lot of other professional leagues together around the world. I am from Germany and I was working for the German Football Federation for nine years and I was also responsible for the World Cup 2006 in Germany.”

“What we have to do now is to sit together to create a working group, which would work within the next few weeks, to identify the most important areas to work on. It is absolutely impossible to have a uniformed concept for different leagues or a uniformed concept for the World Cup.”

“Every country is difficult, they have different cultures, different organizations, different police organizations and structures and you have to take all of this into consideration to develop a really tailor-made concept,” the ICSS director general said. “The most important now is to identify the areas we have to work on together with the Russian Premier League.”

“The main part of our (ICSS - TASS) philosophy in the terms of safety and security is first and foremost the spectators’ service. Normally, it is really easy with a lot of manpower, with a lot of financial resources to make football matches of the World Cup safe and secure” he said. “But on the top of everything it must be the spectator, the fan and the community of the country and therefore we need to be innovative… and that is what we are trying to work out together with our friends from the Russian Premier League.”

Russia Football Union’s (RFU) disciplinary committee had been recently very active imposing penalties on domestic football clubs for their fans misconduct during the games. Security and fans behavior during football matches is under a close attention of the Russian football authorities also because the country is in full swing preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over three years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

RFPL became the first Russian sports federation to enter an agreement with the ICSS as Russia is gearing up to host a number of large-scale international sports events over the coming decade, including the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The memorandum was signed during a press conference in TASS on Tuesday by RFPL President Sergey Pryadkin and ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab in the presence of ICSS Director General Helmut Spahn, Chief Executive of ICSS for Europe Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, RFPL Security Director Alexander Meitin and RFPL spokesman Sergey Alekseyev.

The ICSS is an international, independent and not-for-profit organization. With an aim to improve security, safety and integrity throughout the world of sport; the ICSS works with governments, federations, clubs, leagues and event organizers. The ICSS provides expertise, services and global knowledge - advising on event and venue safety, strategic security and investigations into corruption in sport.

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