On Tuesday 9th February 2010, Inspector Cromwell Henry represented the SKNFA at the FIFA National Security Officer (NSO) Workshop in Miami along with forty-eight (48) other participants from member football Federations in the CONCACAF region.
The workshop was facilitated by FIFA’s Head of Competition Services, Mr. Gordon Savic and CONCACAF Deputy General Secretary, Mr. Ted Howard. It gave background details to the FIFA global security concept and provided guidance to the NSO’s in the best practice approach in terms of safety and security at football events, particularly FIFA competitions.
The workshop also looked at the standards which stadia are required to meet in order to host FIFA matches. Some of these standards include; numbered seating, security control room fitted with CCTV to monitor inside and outside the stadium, a public announcement system, and emergency electricity backup generator.
FIFA has mandated that every National Association should have a security plan for their stadium which should cover procedures for security of visiting teams and officials from arrival to departure. Participants were also briefed on the role and function of the FIFA Security Officer when one is appointed, (usually in high risk games.), role of the NSO when a FIFA Security Officer (FSO) is appointed.
This workshop was the first of its type arranged by FIFA, and emphasized the high importance that is given to security in light the numerous incidents which resulted in injury and loss of lives at stadia around the world. While the stadium in St. Kitts is relatively small, and do not meet some of the requirements of FIFA, the basic safety and security guidelines can be implemented.
Mr. Henry said he found the workshop to be very educational and it most definitely raised the awareness of the various security issues in football. He will also like to recommend that the NSO accompany the national team in overseas engagements, to coordinate the team’s security arrangements.