ICSS strengthens relationship with fans

ICSS strengthens relationship with fans

By: Will Shand, Istanbul, Turkey, July 17, 2012: The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), the not-for-profit organisation specialising in sport security and integrity, further strengthened its relationship with football supporters today and raised a number of emerging topics in sport security and fan safety at the European Football Fans’ Congress 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Helmut Spahn, Executive Director of the ICSS, who recently concluded his role as Security Officer at UEFA EURO 2012, attended the conference, which brought together supporters and administrators from 32 European countries to discuss various topics currently facing the world of football. Emerging themes that were discussed at this year’s event included: match fixing, the behaviour of football fans and ultra groups and developments in safety and security in football stadia.

Speaking at the conference, Helmut Spahn, Executive Director of the ICSS, said; “Events like the European Football Fans’ Congress offer a great opportunity to meet with leading fan organisations and discuss important issues such as stadium security and the emergence of new ultra fan groups. With the world that we live in today, it is important that local organising committees work closely with organisations like Football Supporters Europe to deliver tournaments that offer maximum security with minimum restrictions for all those involved.

“As part of our recent agreement with the Institute for Fan Culture (IfF), we will explore the reasons why some football fans display extreme behaviour. I hope that the fans, associations and organisations at this conference will offer their support and help us to understand and ultimately eradicate violence and discrimination in football.”

The Institute for Fan Culture (IfF) is a new academic institution led by Professor Harald Lange (Dept. of Sport Science at the Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg). The MOU and research venture is part of the ICSS’s ongoing work to develop and share knowledge within the field of sport security and will actively involve fans from a variety of social groups, as well as leading sporting organisation’s and security experts, to determine why fans exhibit extreme behaviour within a sporting environment, and what can be done to proactively reduce such behaviour at sporting events.

As part of this year’s programme, the conference also hosted the 4th Annual General Meeting of Football Supporters Europe, an independently run and UEFA-recognised organisation that represents football fans across 36 countries around Europe.

Background Information:

The ICSS is an international, not-for-profit institution that aims to help event organizers to stage safer major sporting events. The Centre’s mission is to enhance security and integrity in the world of sport by proactively addressing real issues and providing best-in-class training, research and tailored advice.

The ICSS team brings together some of the world’s leading sport security and integrity experts and has access to a worldwide network of specialist practitioners, offering expertise in every aspect of sport security and integrity.

The ICSS is based in Doha, Qatar, an emerging centre for global sporting events including the 2006 Asian Games, the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ the 2011 Pan Arab Games and the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

The organization recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee to collaborate on safety and security planning, capabilities and infrastructure for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.

At the 2nd International Sport Security Conference, that took place on the 14 – 15 March 2012, the ICSS announced partnerships with two leading academic institutions to help tackle the emerging threat of match fixing and extreme behaviour exhibited by sports fans.

As part of the ICSS’s partnership agreement with Université Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne, the two organizations will oversee the creation of a new central hub for gathering knowledge with international sporting federations to promote and support global sporting integrity.

In addition to this historic agreement, the ICSS has signed an MOU with the Institute for Fan Culture (IfF), a new academic institution led by Professor Harald Lange (Dept. of Sport Science at the Julius Maximilian University, Würzburg). The MOU will examine why fans exhibit extreme behaviour within a sporting environment, and what can be done to proactively reduce such behaviour at sporting events.

The ICSS regularly organizes events to encourage the creation of sport security and integrity networks and to drive new thinking. Further details will be announced shortly about the 3rd International Sport Security Conference, taking place in 2013.

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