Sport Conventions

Recommendation on Stewarding (99/1)

(adopted at the 19th meeting, 9-10 June 1999, of the Standing Committee of the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches)

The Standing Committee (T-RV) of the European Convention on Spectator Violent and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches;

Having regard to the need to ensure the safety of spectators and the creation of an environment which discourages violence and misbehaviour;

Recognising that the great majority of spectators do not misbehave;

Considering that the resources of the police should be employed most effectively to maintain public order, prevent and detect crime and arrest lawbreakers;

Seeing a need for stewards to welcome and care for spectators and ensure their safety and well-being as foreseen in Article 3.2 of the convention;

Considering that these stewards should be properly selected, trained, equipped and directed;

Recognising the value of stewards in enabling the stadium management or the organisers of the match to identify and exercise their responsibilities for enforcing the regulations of the stadium by the most appropriate means;

Having regard to the increase in matches at European level, the greater ease of travel and the importance of treating all spectators in a suitable and consistent manner;

Recognising the potential safety benefits of collaboration between stewards from different parties to the convention with compatible stewarding systems;

Considering that this could best be achieved by introducing common minimum standards of recruitment, selection, training and assessment;

Having identified certain principles which are valid in all states party to the convention, notwithstanding their different history, culture and legal systems;

Considering that these are best applied by means of clear requirements imposed by the public authorities or with their agreement;

Having regard to the study on stewarding in sport conducted by the Clearing House (T-RV (97) Inf 1);

Recommends to governments of parties to the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches that they encourage clubs, stadium owners and/or other appropriate bodies in football and other sports to develop a system of stewarding at sporting events with large attendances, based upon the following principles:

1. Stewards should be provided by whoever is responsible for the safety of spectators at the match; this may be either the management of the stadium or the organiser of the event.

2. The nature, role and functions of stewards should be clearly defined; these functions, which should be distinct from, but complement those of the police, should include:

a. searching the stadium before, during and after the match as necessary;

b. welcoming, directing and caring for all spectators, whatever their age, race, sex, disability or the team they support;

c. responding to any complaints from spectators;

d. informing spectators of the arrangements and facilities at the stadium and of any safety requirements laid down by the organisers or the emergency services;

e. assisting in the safe operation of the stadium, in particular supervising and ensuring the safe entry and exit of spectators;

f. enforcing the regulations of the stadium;

g. keeping spectators out of those parts of the stadium to which the public does not have access;

h. observing all areas of potential danger and preventing overcrowding;

i. responding to incidents and emergencies and taking the necessary action to deal with them;

j. assisting the police or emergency services as required.

3. Recruitment procedures should ensure that all stewards are fit and active and can demonstrate that they have the necessary good character, temperament and ability to perform their duties.

4. Thorough training should be provided to all stewards, leading ultimately to the issue of an appropriate certificate. This training should be both theoretical and practical, and cover, inter alia:

a. the legal status, responsibilities and duties of stewards;

b. the requirements in force at the stadium;

c. the organisation and management of safety at the stadium;

d. the principles of crowd management, including how to monitor spectators and to respond to hazards;

e. how to deal with unsafe or unacceptable behaviour;

f. taking care of spectators;

g. the configuration of the stadium, in particular the entrance and exit routes and the location of the alarm and communications systems;

h. what action to take in the event of a spectator being injured;

i. what action to take in the event of a fire or other emergency;

j. evacuation of the stadium.

5. A system for the ongoing assessment of each steward should be maintained, including records of his or her:

a. qualifications or skills;

b. suitability and fitness for the task;

c. attendance at matches and duties performed;

d. standard of performance;

e. training received and further training needs.

6. All stewards should be required to comply with a code of conduct as a condition of their employment. This code should include provisions that all stewards should, inter alia:

a. be polite, courteous and helpful to all spectators at all times, without discrimination;

b. be suitably dressed with no display of team colours;

c. concentrate on their duties at all times and refrain from watching the match or celebrating a goal;

d. never work under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medicines which may affect their behaviour.

7. All stewards should be clearly identifiable. This entails the wearing of suitable clothing so that they may be quickly and easily recognised by spectators, by the stadium management, the police and other authorities.

8. Procedures should be established for determining the minimum number and location of stewards, including supervisory stewards, to be deployed at each match and for ensuring that the stewards are so deployed.

9. Arrangements should be put in place for the effective use of stewards, in particular through:

a. the establishment of a clear hierarchical command and safety management structure with appropriate means of communication;

b. detailed briefing and debriefing before and after each match;

c. the issue to all stewards of a check list and/or handbook summarising their duties;

d. refresher training at periodic intervals.

10. By agreement between the two clubs or countries concerned, suitably qualified stewards from the visiting club or country should be invited by the organisers to accompany the visiting supporters so as to assist the local stewards to provide for their safety, welcome and care.