Aleksander Čeferin, president of football’s European governing body, Uefa, has said that the sport needs to significantly improve its safety measures at matches.
Čeferin was addressing representatives of European national associations, public authorities, the EU Think Tank on Football Safety and Security, and the Council of Europe at the inaugural Uefa Stadium and Security Strategy Summit in Nyon on Tuesday.
Several strategy safety meetings, which will take place over the coming period, will highlight past failures and how to improve, as well as debate ongoing incidents and identify emerging trends, including terrorism.
“We must ensure that stadiums are considered as a safe environment for people to share the joy of our beautiful game,” the Uefa president said. “This is, and should be our main priority.
“Today, due to several conflicts around Europe and the world, our continent is more prone than ever to threats. We must work harder to ensure all precautions are taken, all threats countered and, most importantly, people feel safe and secure, as much as at their homes.”
Uefa is collaborating with its 55 member associations to help them develop effective safety and security strategies and activities, and is also cooperating closely with the EU and Council of Europe.
The governing body has also boosted its own safety and security strategy through significant funding.
“Before my election in 2016, I had made safety and security one of my top priorities,“ Čeferin said. “We are together today to ensure that our stadiums are secure and safer than ever.
“Please always remember that our stadiums, for clubs and national team football matches, have to be family friendly. No parent should be afraid to go to a match with their children. Thanks to the good work done by my predecessors and your good work Uefa is one of the leading sports organisations in the world regarding safety and security measures in sport. However, we cannot stop and enjoy this position.
“We must collaborate more with public authorities and share information efficiently and rapidly in every single situation.”