Spanish Segunda División football club Girona FC has announced it will take part in a unique scheme utilising blockchain technology which aims to help the events industry welcome back patrons.

A first for Spain, Girona FC has engaged with the project in an effort to return fans to its Estadi Montilivi after a year of playing behind closed doors due to COVID-19. Fans have not been allowed to attend any senior matches across Spanish football since the original postponement of competitions as the pandemic took hold in March 2020.

Entitled ‘Obrir Girona’, or Opening Girona, the project is being led by the Blockchain Center of Catalonia; formed by Barcelona’s and Girona’s Chambers of Commerce and the Catalan Government. Girona FC said it is working closely with LaLiga, the organising body of Spain’s top two football leagues, to present the project to the highest sport authority in Spain, the Consejo Superior de Deportes, in order to stage a pilot test during a match at its 11,200-capacity stadium.

Obrir Girona will commence on February 22 and will see pharmacists across the city validate and enter data of people who have either been vaccinated or received a clear serology test in the past six months, or return a negative antigen test that is valid for a 48-hour period.

This data will be entered into an app, through which users will be able to use to gain entry to football matches, cultural and social events taking place in Girona during March. ICC AOKpass, a risk mitigation tool developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is the technological basis of the project.

Utilising a secure blockchain ledger, ICC AOKpass allows users to safely present their medical records to business owners and government administrations in the form of a QR-code without comprising their personal medical data. The ICC is seeking to make AOKpass the international standard for digital health passes.

Obrir Girona intends to become a guide for other cities in Spain. Girona FC said: “The pathfinder objective of Obrir Girona is to turn the city into a sandbox for a few weeks, putting together the social and economic actors of all kind and developing events.”

Commenting on Girona’s pilot scheme, ICC secretary general John Denton said: “We see this pilot as a case study in support of the Spanish initiative at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to develop an International Framework for Safe International Mobility.

“I trust that this pilot will successfully engage Girona’s citizens. We welcome Opening Girona as a pioneering project and look forward to working with Girona’s citizens, business leaders and policymakers to safely reopen the local economy.”

Image: Girona FC