Handbook: Hosting Major International Sports Events
Under Project STADIA, we have successfully carried out more than 60 expert groups and observation missions, establishing a robust network of over 200 experts. This network is mainly responsible for the safety and security concerns associated with organizing major events.
A comprehensive handbook produced under this project assists government and law enforcement policymakers in tackling the challenges of hosting such events. This resource entitled "Hosting Major International Sports Events: International Police Cooperation and Host Police Planning," allows authorities to adapt to the national context and specific nature of the event.
By outlining essential planning and best practices, this handbook minimizes criminal activity and ensures the safety of participants, spectators, visitors and the local communities residing or working in the host cities.
The handbook is made available to law enforcement officials and other public authorities on the Stadia Knowledge Management System (SKMS). This platform helps create a virtual network of support for individuals involved in the planning and implementing of major event safety and security. It also allows for knowledge sharing on STADIA’s activities.
The road to the FIFA World Cup™
Project Stadia brought together 10 international organizations to discuss final efforts to support Qatar to deliver a safe and secure tournament in November 2022.
With planning in the final stretch, each of the 10 organizations discussed their most recent contributions in order to ensure there are no gaps in in the security coverage.
The 10 organizations taking part in the two-day meeting were: Council of Europe Committee on Safety and Security at Sports Events; European Group of Policing Football and NFIP Experts; EUROPOL; FIFA; International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS); International Olympic Committee (IOC); United Nations Interregional Crime and Research Institute (UNICRI); United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Training course in Doha
Project Stadia hosted a training course in Doha for more than 50 Qatari police officers who will be working in the International Police Cooperation Center during the World Cup as the Qatar National Football Information Point. The training presented best practices from an international perspective.
Webinar to tackle violence in football
More than 30 practitioners in the field attended a webinar on “Tackling the Resurgence of Violence in Football” hosted by Project Stadia. Two experts presented recent cases of violence among football spectators in Brazil and the UK and possible causalities.
Observation programme in the UK
An observation programme ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK, provided insights into the preparation, planning and security operations undertaken by the West Midlands Police (WMP). Recommendations documented and shared by Project Stadia include the importance of:
- incorporating lessons learned from past major international sporting events into the security approach, budget and programming structure of the event;
- developing a risk assessment model focused on the event’s needs;
- revisiting the risk assessment as situations change, such as additional venues and events added to the schedule;
- providing project management training for officers involved in securing major international events.
Insights from Portugal
Project Stadia conducted an observation visit in Lisbon, Portugal, during the Rock in Rio music festival. Although a different type of event to Qatar’s World Cup, the response to a common problem was observed and shared with our Qatari colleagues. With a metro strike called at the onset of the festival, police worked with the municipal bus company to organize additional buses and routes to assist in dispersing the crowd at the end of each night. Police also worked with on-demand transport platforms (e.g. Uber) to facilitate their access and pick-up locations near the venue in order to swiftly move the crowd away and alleviate any possible disturbances.
Last Mile Conference in Doha, Qatar
The FIFA World Cup Security Last Mile Conference was an opportunity for Qatar to showcase its organizational and security readiness, as well as listen to questions and concerns from participating countries. Many government and football dignitaries, media representatives and ambassadors from World Cup participating countries attended. As the guest of honour, Project Stadia delivered a keynote address and hosted a panel discussion on the lifecycle of Project Stadia, its many offerings and its future. The conference also saw Qatar sign a two-year funding extension to the project, through to the end of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Guidelines on major events and public health
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to protect public health has become an additional challenge in making sure that major events run safely and securely.
An INTERPOL guide, produced under Project Stadia, supports law enforcement professionals and event organizers in the planning, management and command of major events or operations within the context of COVID-19 or any other public health crisis.
Protecting transport infrastructure as part of the World Cup
Protecting Qatar’s infrastructure during World Cup 2022 is as important as protecting the city’s stadium venues, as all facilities where spectators are present could be a target. Project Stadia hosted Qatar Transit Police during the RAILPOL Public Order Security Exercises held in Duderstadt, Germany. The Qatari delegation observed the various techniques utilized during the multi-national transit police exercise to protect train and metro infrastructure. Key areas of insight included team communication, tactics for the approach to both civil disorder and criminal activity within the transport infrastructure and the importance of repeated training when utilizing multi-national police agencies. RAILPOL is the European Association of Railway Police Forces.