As a continuation to the AFC Kick off program and in collaboration with Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), a Stadium and Security meeting on Strategic Plan was held on Monday (19 Oct 2015) at Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya.
The meeting was presided by Dato’ Haji Fuad Abu Zarim, Chairman of the FAM Security Committee. Also in attendance were senior police officers responsible for security including representatives from the National Stadium Bukit Jalil as well as Shah Alam and officials from Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Participants of the meeting were briefed on European experience with regards to spectator violence by two prominent individuals, Marc Timmer, UEFA Stadia Security & Safety chief and David Bohanan, European Union (EU) Football Safety & Security ‘Think Tank’.
Marc Timmer, David Bohannan, Shahin Rahmani and Sonam Jigimi
They believe that governments had to empower police by providing them with the legal framework enabling them to implement effective strategies to be imposed on radical fans and about the necessity to implement stringent measures on safety at the stadium to avoid similar incidents which occurred in Europe decades ago.
They further pointed out that without such participation by the government, the objective of ensuring security and the safety of those present at the stadium cannot be achieved.
European countries are also not free from atrocious experiences with the radical supporters. As such, the prevailing situation had prompted the EU to introduce the ‘New Convention on Integrated Approach to Safety, Security and Service’.
This partnership approach warrants a political commitment involvingthe government supported by an appropriate legal framework to enablethe police to criminalise spectator violence and securing the necessary court orders to exclude undesirable elements involved in crowd violence from the stadium for a period of time as practiced in the UK and Europe.
David Bohannan explaining his experience with football violence in Europe
Good stadium infrastructure can contribute to an effective security and safety condition. A tested venue contingency and evacuation plans coupled with a professional venue management can contribute to a responsible stadia safety situation.
This collaboration and further discussions will continue incorporating other relevant government agencies to finally draw up an integrated National Stadia Security and Safety Plan for Malaysian football to ensure no repetition of the disgraceful incident that occurred on the night of 8 September 2015 at the Shah Alam stadium during the World Cup Qualification match between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
Dato’ Haji Fuad Abu Zarim with Marc Timmer