Sport Conventions

Recommendation on the promotion of safety at stadia (91/1)

(adopted by the Standing Committee of the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in Particular at Football Matches during their 9th meeting, 1991)

The Standing Committee recommends the Parties:

1. to encourage and actively promote safety in all sports stadia (sports grounds, sports halls, sports centres, etc.) in co-operation with sports organisations and stadium owners;

2. to this end, to take all the necessary steps including legislation, at the appropriate national, regional or local level, in order to ensure the application of the guidelines set out in the appendix to this recommendation and of any other international or national norms and regulations, in particular for the construction of new stadia;

3. to ensure as a minimum that the regulations adopted by UEFA for its competitions are met for new stadia, and that existing ones are renovated to meet them by the year 2000;

4. to set up national supervisory and advisory bodies, where such bodies do not exist, to monitor progress in the areas covered by the present recommendation;

5. to support efforts to study measures designed to improve spectator safety in stadia and the financing of such improvements;

6. to ensure that the design of new or renovated stadia in accordance with this Recommendation,

a. pay attention to the surroundings in which they are situated;

b. permit access by persons suffering from disabilities;

c. provide attractive facilities for spectators.

7. to determine, at national and/or regional level, and in accordance with appropriate priorities, a timetable for the progressive implementation of this recommendation and its Appendix, in particular with regard to the renovation of existing sports stadia; this timetable may take account of criteria based on the type and the capacity of stadia and appropriate management considerations.


Safety in stadia: principles and rules

A. General principles

I. Safety in stadia is a function of several risk factors which can be divided into three main categories: the danger of fire, the possibility of structural failures (whether through design faults or through functional inadequacies); and problems inherent in the presence of large crowds (operational factors). Thus the main issue is how to minimise these risks. This can be done through preventive actions on the one hand and the preparation of efficient responses to those accidents that cannot be avoided or foreseen on the other.

II. Furthermore, many of the measures set out in the Convention and taken by Parties to combat hooliganism can and should also be used to promote spectator safety: for example controls on tickets sales, checks on entry to the stadium, closed circuit television etc. Other measures designed to prevent violence and misbehaviour by spectators should in no case impair the safety of spectators.

B. Preventive measures

Fire - both immediately and nearby

III.. The appropriate public authorities should ensure that the use and supply of gas, electricity and other inflammable substances is in accordance with the appropriate legislation for public outdoor places of the size and capacity of the stadium under consideration.

IV.. Any inflammable substance should be stocked only if strictly necessary for the functioning of the facility and in any case well away from spectators and athletes, in accordance with the existing regulations on the stockage of such substances.

V.. Kitchens, heating systems, generators should be kept in separated parts of the buildings with adequate insulation; in stadia where it is not possible to separate such facilities, the areas must be stringently fire-proofed.

VI.. The design and the materials used in the construction of stadia should be of the type and quality required to ensure a good protection from fire and to minimise the risk of fire spreading. Fire-doors should be installed and fire-extinguishing devices must be of an approved type, in sufficient numbers, and located at easily accessible and visible places. Where appropriate, the European Standards (ENs) prepared by the European Committee for Standardisation should be followed.

VII. Adequate fire-fighting equipment and material should be pre-positioned bearing in mind the type and structure of the stadium and the number of spectators present, and sufficient manpower should be available to be called upon locally.

Structural questions

VIII.. A maximum capacity, in terms of seats or persons, should be given for each stadium and for each sector of a stadium. This capacity will be a function of several factors, inter alia the maximum amount of stress that can be supported by the existing structure as indicated by the applicable regulations, including the European Standards (ENs) prepared by the European Committee for Standardisation. Technical norms laid down by such regulations should take into account the dynamics of crowd effects, the minimum size of seats, the type of partitioning between the sectors. Ideally, there should be no standing places in stadia of more than 10,000 places. In all stadia where standing places are authorised, the maximum capacity for standing places should be fixed in terms of persons per square metre. The safety of spectators inside the stadium depends largely on the respect of this maximum number of spectators.

IX.. All accesses to the stadium, circulation paths inside it, and exits from it, should be as linear as possible, whether they be for spectators or for emergency vehicles. In particular doors should have the same width as corridors, staircases and landings leading up to them, in order to allow a regular flow of people. Such areas should be kept free of objects or people and possibly painted in a different colour to be easily identified. Each door should be used at any one time only as an entrance or as an exit and each sector should be equipped with a sufficient number of entries and exits (at least two) to allow a satisfactory flow of persons per minute, enabling it to be emptied in the time required for a rapid emergency evacuation of a threatened sector. Such flows should be pre-determined for each sector and stadium by an appropriate authority.

X.. The size and shape of the areas immediately outside the stadia foreseen for the approach, access and egress of spectators, whether on foot or by motorized vehicle, should be such as not to create bottlenecks. All types of access and egress routes should be clearly indicated and lend themselves to the separation of supporters of different teams.

XI. Special separate parking areas for emergency vehicles should be available and be located so as to give them easy and quick access to the inside of the stadium. hey should be spacious enough to allow manoeuvring as well as parking, taking into account the number of vehicles required for the capacity of the stadium and the shape of the emergency areas. Such numbers should be pre-determined (see 23 below).

XII. The state of the structure should be the object of regular checks before matches to identify weaknesses and/or damage due to age, corrosion or human factors. Such checks should be a condition sine qua non for the grant of a "safety certificate" (permission granted by an appropriate public authority for a stadium to accommodate a pre-determined number of members of the public) by a competent "licensing authority" (authority which grants the safety certificate or permission to arrange a match to which paying members of the public are admitted (Article 6.2 of the Convention)).

Crowd management

XIII. Sufficient spaces inside stadia should be designed for the free movement of large crowds. Their size and shape should vary proportionately to the maximum number of spectators allowed into the stadium.

XIV. Each ticket should bear instructions to locate the allotted sector and, where appropriate, the seat within it and be controlled, preferably by a computerised system. Paths to find a given seat or sector should be clearly signposted, possibly with colours to be repeated on the ticket itself.

XV. The number of tickets available should not exceed the maximum designated capacity of any given sector, and for stadia where standing places are allowed, this will be fixed in terms of persons per square metre (see 13 above).

XVI. It should be possible for each sector to be closed off rapidly as this maximum number is about to be reached. To this end a device, whether electronical, mechanical or by means of a video, to control/count effectively the number of people entering the stadium, and a given sector, should be installed.

24. Crush barriers and other obstacles meant to protect players and/or spectators from violent actions by hooligans should be designed so as not to slow down or make difficult the entry or exit of spectators. In any case a minimum and maximum size and resistance load should be set by the authorities concerned. (see 6 and 8 above).

25. Where fences separating the terraces from the pitch exist they should have easily operated openings in order to allow emergency evacuation into the open space.

26. Co-ordination among all security and emergency forces concerned should be ensured by preliminary briefing and full information on the specific risks of the match, the structure of the facility, the plans and the location of the grounds. Such briefing should be addressed to both public and stadium emergency and policing staff. It should pay special attention to the co-ordination between them all.

27. The stadium owner or manager should provide the police with a well placed, well equipped and spacious control room. It should in particular allow a full view of the whole pitch, and of as much of the spectators' area as possible, and provide closed circuit television screens.

28. An efficient device for addressing the crowd should be installed. Communication between various police officers in charge, whether on the grounds or in the control room, should be ensured by reliable and constant radio/telephone lines.

29. A number of police officers and stadium staff should be specially trained to evaluate crowd densities and behaviour (in particular for signs of trouble), and be placed in sufficient numbers on the ground so as to supervise all sectors.

30. Adequate medical staff, ambulances, equipment and rooms should be present in the stadium to deal with emergency situations. The number should be fixed by the appropriate public or licensing authority which should aim to ensure that at least one person trained in first aid per 1,000 spectators should be present, and at least one doctor and one ambulance should be present on the ground, from the opening to the closing of the stadium, at all events at which 5,000 or more spectators are expected.

C. Responses

31. Good co-ordination and communication among all services concerned should be ensured as it is essential for an efficient response to any emergency situation. Contingency plans should be carefully studied, tried out and publicised among all services concerned in order to save time and energy, and to limit casualties and damage.

32. Police officers posted at the entrances to the stadia should be informed when emergency services are called, specifying which service, for what reason and where it is needed so that they can efficiently direct vehicles on their arrival.

33. Officers or stewards charged with supervising conditions in the individual sectors should readily release spectators in distress by opening the perimeter fences, after informing the co-ordinating centre, with which they should be constantly in contact. Therefore they should be capable, authorised and equipped to do so.

34. The crowd should be kept informed of the situation by means of powerful loudspeakers and, whenever possible, illuminated advertising or score boards for the transmission of messages. For this reason such boards should be clearly visible from all sectors.