As part of efforts to continue the safety and security of fans and supporters present at match venues across different stadiums worldwide, the Federation of International Football Associations, FIFA has organised a three-day training workshop aimed at consolidating the experiences and knowledge of the current crop of FIFA Safety & Security Officers, reports.

Among the 30 participants selected from a different Member Associations across the six confederations and picked from among 150 applicants and 82-member associations was Nigeria’s Dr. Christian Emeruwa who is the National Security Officer of the Nigeria Football Federation.

Dr. Emeruwa was one of a handful of participants selected for a pilot project in 2014 that paired junior safety & security officers with experienced senior counterparts.

Alongside his everyday duties as National Security Officer for the Nigerian Football Federation, he has been involved in and – more recently – led security operations at several stadiums for FIFA tournaments, including at the Luzhniki Stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“As FIFA Safety & Security Officers, we work under the basic principles of coordination, communication and cooperation. It’s not about telling local authorities what to do, but instead working together with them to make sure they meet the safety and security regulations on match day.

“It takes good interpersonal skills and an awareness of social, legal and political sensitivities, because the situation in each country is different,” explained Dr. Emeruwa.

“Initiatives like the mentoring project and these workshops are helping to raise standards – of the safety & security officers specifically, and of safety and security in football competitions generally,” Emeruwa added.

The three-day workshop had sessions on FIFA’s Stadium Safety & Security Regulations and their practical application through risk management, crowd management, and safe capacity calculations.

It also saw presentations from FIFA’s Safety & Security Team, the CAF Security Coordinator, and Protasov, and participants engaged in individual and group exercises, learned from real-life case studies (including the introduction of stewarding to Brazil, and the Hillsborough and Bradford stadium disasters), and performed a “matchday desktop emergency and crisis management scenario” exercise.