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03 December 2015

INTERPOL hosts second meeting of global experts group on sports legislation

LYON, France – Under the auspices of Project Stadia, INTERPOL has held its second global experts group meeting on sports legislation to review the challenges posed by providing security at large-scale sporting events, and the legal frameworks developed to better address these challenges.

Gathering legal advisors, lawyers and experts in sporting event security, the two-day meeting (30 November and 1 December) aimed to produce a roadmap on the key legislative components that a host country should create, launch and practice to organize a major sporting event.

“We are honoured to have the support of INTERPOL and work together with its member countries to help us shape our legislative framework in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar,” said Major Ali Abdulla Saad Al-Kuwari, Head of the Technical Section, Legal Affairs Department of the Internal Security Force of Qatar.

"We are committed to working in collaboration and utilizing our full capacity to enhance our legal framework. This will be achieved through organizing joint workshops and trainings sessions similar to this expert group, and continuing to exchange experience and expertise on a regular basis.”

The Sports Legislation Experts Group works to provide recommendations and guidance, both on the judicial and administrative levels, to assist INTERPOL member countries hosting major sporting events to develop legislative frameworks that better prepare countries in organizing a safe and secure international sporting event.

The ultimate purpose is to deliver a thorough legislative plan serving as a standard for INTERPOL Member Countries hosting major sporting events.

Main areas of legal concern during the meeting included the specific requirements of major sporting event organizers, national law enforcement and private security agencies, and international cooperation with participants and other countries.

“Project Stadia was financed by the Qatari authorities with a view to providing security for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but also to assist the wider policing community with regard to security at major international sports events,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Operational Support and Analysis, Michael O’Connell.

“The recent attacks outside the Stade de France in Paris demonstrate the importance of having solid security systems in place in and around stadiums and the need for a structured response to such situations,” added Mr O’Connell.

Countries represented at the meeting were Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland, Qatar, Russia, United Kingdom, United States. They were joined by representatives from legal entities Eurojust and Legisport.

Project Stadia aims to create a centre of excellence and a good practice platform to help INTERPOL’s member countries in planning and executing physical security and cybersecurity preparations for major sporting events.