During the month of November, FIFA’s Security and Integrity Division organised two Regional Seminars for Officials/National Heads of Security in its Member Associations, one for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF), and the other for the South American Confederation (CONMEBOL).
Led by FIFA’s Security Senior Manager Serge Dumortier, the central aim of the discussions was to introduce and explain FIFA’s Stadium Safety and Security Regulations and open a debate on how that ruling can be adapted to the national regulations of each association member present at the seminar. Meanwhile, discussions also took place on how each confederation could improve what they have done to date in that area.
The first seminar of its kind in the CONCACAF area since 2008, the forum took place at the JW Marriot Hotel in Miami on November 4, 5 and 6. Along with Dumortier, FIFA Department of Security consultants Deborah Doe and Will Van Rhee also spoke, as did CONCACAF Assistant Secretary General Ted Howard and member of FIFA’s Security and Integrity Comittee.
The meeting between CONCACAF’s Security and Fair Play Committee and security officials from each association proved fruitful, with different topics discussed under the subject of integrity - several of which had been touched upon in previous regional seminars through the FIFA-INTERPOL initiative.
In that respect, the proposal made by David Sabir, Secretary General of the Bermuda Football Federation and member of FIFA’s Security Committee, to create a Network of National Security Officials within CONCACAF, was very well received. Recognising that the exchange of information and co-operation are key to progress in the issue, he vowed to establish effective means of communication and efficient general practices, both in terms of administration and education.
A firm first step
"For FIFA this is an extremely important matter and we are very happy to be able to share our experiences with all of you,” Dumortier told those present at the CONMEBOL headquarters in Asuncion, kicking off two days of discussions which took place on November 11, 12 and 13. “This meeting had been postponed for different reasons and it wasn’t easy to co-ordinate, but thanks to the president Juan Angel Napout we were able to make it a reality in the space of two months,” the FIFA Security Chief added.
Napout thanked Dumortier for his words and moved straight on to the topic under discussion. “It’s a great moment for us because we’re sure that this seminar will be extremely useful for everyone. And not just because of violence, but also with regard to issues such as discrimination, racism and the manipulation of matches. Sharing experiences is the best way to find solutions,” said the CONMEBOL president.
After working mainly on the Security Regulations and Prevention of Risks for the first two days, Dumortier – accompanied in Asuncion by FIFA consultants Deborah Doe and Pierino Lardi – dedicated the last day to the examination of integrity issues with the National Security and Integrity Officials, with special emphasis on the FIFA-INTERPOL initiative, given that there had never been a seminar on this subject in the region before. Dumortier was joined in that task by Julie Norris, from INTERPOL’s Integrity in Sport Unit.
During the closing act of this workshop, Mr Napout announced that he committed himself, on behalf the confederation, to have soon created a Security and Integrity Committee to assist CONMEBOL federations and tackle these two fields at high level as well as to cooperate and develop further what has been initiated these last three days with FIFA and INTERPOL.