The stadiums are at the core facilities of the professional football or soccer game; these stadiums are the places where the action takes place, locations of the highs and lows of the game, and where history is created. Quality football stadiums are essential for the health and safety, comfort, and protection of the players, officials, fans, media and stadium staff. From the time of Rome and Ancient Greece, the stadium idea has advanced significantly to consider the necessary needs of an extensive range of sporting regulations. In about three decades ago, football stadiums were constructed for a number of sports such as athletics, however, modern designs emphasis on the specific requirements of the game (UEFA 2011). The stadium construction should enclose the pitch to maximize the comfort effect without affecting the safety of the involved people.
Football Stadiums Aspects
According to UEFA (2011) recommendations, football stadium design must concentrate on the necessity of creating people-friendly constructions that offer ultimate degrees of safety and comfort. In current sporting facilities comparisons, most football stadiums are considered as architectural emblems in most cities and have a huge influence on the neighboring infrastructure and communities (UEFA 2011). The stadiums aim to benefit the neighboring societies and intended as family-friendly target for football games and other sporting actions. They are created to capitalize on their profitable prospective, through integration of a broad variety of usages and facilities. For safety and health reasons, current stadium design employs the newest technological improvements to provide the preeminent potential facilities to match public expectations of improved match day experiences (UEFA 2011).
In English game, the stadiums are one aspect that continues to deposit the regulations and makes other nations or football league envy of the intercontinental football society. Despite of league state, stadium capacity or occupancies; the manner in which the pitches of English football stadiums and clubs are run guarantees that multitude safety, convenience and comfort are globe level as standard (The FA n.d). Therefore, while eyes are glued on the players on the ground, it is the responsibility and the watchfulness of the personnel off the area of play that guarantees that the spectators across the nation enjoy the match in safety and convenience. The health and safety team ensures that safety management is identical, in spite of the capacity of any soccer ground. The principles of health and safety of football stadium in English world are commissioned by football organizations and implemented by a team of football safety experts (The FA n.d).
For health and safety regulation, football commissions have stipulated that football stadiums must be constructed using quality material and resources of international standards. The construction is based on the local technical, international and legal set of laws applicable. In other regions, steel is the ideal choice for the major construction of the wall and body, while other nation’s strict fire policy or cost or availability prevent steel usage (UEFA 2011).
UEFA (2011) recommended that all stadiums must have totally incorporated safety and protection responsible for the whole structure and its environments. It is fundamental that safety be core and responsible personnel must strategize complete aspects of safety of the venue (UEFA 2011).
The most important aspects concerning to the proper management of health and safety in a stadium are structural safety, architectural design, fire safety and prevention, operational safety, and barriers of rival spectators (UEFA 2011).
Football Stadiums Key Health and Safety Regulations
Regulations are projected to make planners of football events conscious of the responsibilities and duties before, throughout and after events concerning safety and defense at the sports ground (FIFA.com n.d). Safety management in football stadium was produced by the Football Licensing Authority (FLA). The FLA guidance recognizes and concludes jointly good performance on security personnel, management events, occasion organization and getting ready for complements, incidents and expands on the recommendation on safety administration in the safety at football pitches (The FA n.d). The Football Safety Officers Association (FSOA) role is based on improving security by giving out best action, improving and encouraging the function of security personnel within football and recurrently enhancements of their proficiency (The FA n.d).
The stadium code of conduct shall contain provisions that help to reduce the risk of any spectator behaviour that may threaten safety, security or good order. If these provisions are violated, the offender(s) shall be punished in accordance with the host nation’s laws and subject to eviction and/or banning from stadiums (FIFA.com n.d). Successful stadium safety and security strikes the right balance between stadium design and stadium management. Guidance on new builds and stadium refurbishments can be found in the FIFA publication Football Stadiums– Technical Recommendations and Requirements, which should be used as a reference for all FIFA events together with the latest version of this document. The laws, regulations, ordinances and administrative directives in place for the construction and technical facilities of stadiums shall be respected (FIFA.com n.d).
It is the responsibility of the stadium operator to make the safety of all those visiting the venue paramount (UEFA 2011). When it comes to contingency planning, there is no room for complacency. Access and exit to and from the seats, both in normal and emergency situations, needs to be carefully planned in consultation with the relevant specialist consultants and the local authorities. It is generally required that all seating complies with current safety regulations before stadium operating licences will be granted (UEFA 2011).
Stadium risk assessments and emergency plans
The stadium security of officer is responsible for the production of risk assessments for all matches including any ancillary activities, such as opening or award ceremonies. Input should be provided by local and, when required, national authorities and all relevant emergency services, such as fire, civil emergency and ambulance services (FIFA.com n.d).
The local emergency services are required to prepare an emergency plan (also known as an emergency procedure plan or major incident plan) for dealing with any major incident occurring in or around the stadium. It is the responsibility of the senior national security advisor to ensure compliance with this requirement (FIFA.com n.d). The first aid and emergency services, police, stewards and fire service may be provided with rooms for their command centres. These rooms shall offer a view of the stands and – provided this is possible in the design of the stadium – other areas deemed to be of interest with regard to safety and security (FIFA 2008).
Entry to the stadium
This section describes the conditions of entry into the stadium by visitors and accredited persons. It should include the requirements of producing a valid ticket or accreditation and, where requested, proof of identity. Furthermore, stadium visitors and accredited persons must submit to searches and agree that access is limited to those areas of the stadium as specified on the ticket or accreditation (FIFA.com n.d)..
Prohibited items: This section deals with all items that stadium visitors and accredited persons are not permitted to use, possess, hold or bring into the stadium. Prohibited items are loosely grouped into the following categories: any object applicable as weapon, illegal substances, items of racists, or xenophobic, animals, recording cameras and any objects affecting spectators view (FIFA.com n.d).
Access to the stadium should be facilitated by an efficient network of routes for private transport, and if possible, by suitable links to public transport in the vicinity of the stadium (FIFA 2008).
Emergency evacuation routes, one inside and one outside the stadium, must be agreed upon with the local security forces (police, stewards, fire service, first aid and emergency services). The external evacuation route shall have two lanes and be negotiable by vehicle (FIFA 2008).
Safety barriers are to be erected in the sectors of stadiums in which standing spectators are to be admitted. Partitions between the standing and seated areas and between the different sectors shall be used to prevent spectators from moving from one sector to another (FIFA 2008).
The match organisers must guarantee in cooperation with the local police authorities the safety of the participating teams and their officials – as well as the FIFA match officials – during their whole stay, from arrival to departure (FIFA 2008).
A seat, not only more comfortable than standing for a full 90 minutes of play, also provides the spectator with territorial space and a zone of protection. It also serves as an important and strategic safety measure in that there can only be one valid ticket per allocated seat, and troublemakers can easier be identified through the assistance of CCTV (FIFA 2008).
A team of stewards – consisting of male and female employees – must be deployed. These stewards must have reached the full legal age and be responsible adults. They should also have prior experience of the tasks allocated to stewards, particularly at football matches (FIFA 2008).
Necesities of the regulations
These regulations are intended to make all match organisers aware of their duties
and responsibilities before, during and after matches. These regulations contain the safety measures that match organisers, associations and clubs must take to help to prevent crowd disturbances and to help to ensure a minimum of safety and order within the confines and vicinity of the stadium (FIFA 2008).. The regulations also detail the structural, technical, organisational and operational measures that must be carried out when a football match is hosted in a stadium. Match organisers, associations and clubs must take all reasonable measures necessary to ensure safety in and around the stadium. Associations and clubs are responsible for the behaviour of the persons entrusted with the organisation of matches (FIFA 2008).
FIFA (2008). Safety Regulations. Retrieved from http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/51/53/98/fifa_safety_regulations_en.pdf
UEFA (n.d.). UEFA Guide to Quality Stadiums. Retrieved from http://www.uefa.org/MultimediaFiles/Download/EuroExperience/competitions/General/01/74/38/69/1743869_DOWNLOAD.pdf
FIFA.com (n.d.). FIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations. Retrieved from http://www.ffu.org.ua/files/ndocs_443.pdf
The FA (n.d.). Rules & Governance: Stadium Safety. Retrieved from http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/more/stadium-safety