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A new task: the steward

Stewarding emerged in the late 1990s in the wake of the Council of Europe’s activities and proposals.

Stewards help match organisers or stadium management to apply the stadium rules and to ensure the safety of spectators. Their role is distinct from that of the police, and helps complete it.

Their main duties are to inspect the stadium before, during and after the match, to welcome, control, seat, inform and ensure the safety of spectators in the stadium. The steward ensures the safe entry and exit of spectators. S/he is also there in case of complaint, to sort out incidents and emergencies, and to assist the police and emergency services where needed.

They are generally dressed in a way that is recognisable for the spectators, the police and other services.

The concept of stewarding has spread throughout several European countries. It allows match organisers to meet the public expectations by generating a feeling of security amongst the spectators. Police intervention can then be called upon for more serious criminal incidents.

Recommendation Rec (2008) 2 on the use of visiting stewards