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The Heysel Stadium disaster (May 1985) shook the world and revealed the need to urgently take measures to increase security at sports events.
Prepared in a record time, the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches was the response to that need. It was adopted on 19 August 1985.

The Convention requires States to take practical measures to prevent and control violence and misbehaviour by spectators. It also includes measures to identify and deal with offenders.

The Standing Committee (T-RV Committee) follows the implementation of the Convention and assesses progress achieved. It visits countries, attends high risk matches, discusses issues with key stakeholders and evaluates the measures in place. It then makes recommendations when improvements are needed. The Standing Committee also discusses issues of general concern and adopts recommendations addressed to all States Parties. Over the last three decades, the Committee has adopted 26 recommendations, gradually showing the importance of addressing other two key issues connected to security: the issues of safety and services.

In 2015, the Standing Committee adopted a major recommendation (Rec(2015)1) which gathers, in a single document, all the key guidance provided by the Committee during its thirty years of existence, as well as an impressive collection of best practices in State’s efforts to guarantee safety and security at sports events. The latest update of Rec (2015)1 was adopted in 2020.

All these efforts have paved the way for the adoption in 2016 of a new Convention focusing on an integrated and multiagency approach to safety, security and service at football matches and other sports events, also known as the Saint-Denis Convention.

The St Denis Convention is called to gradually replace the 1985 Convention, as each state that ratifies the new convention must denounce the old one.

 

To learn more about these texts:

 European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches (ETS No. 120)

 Recommendation Rec (2015) 1, of the Standing Committee, on Safety, Security and Service at Football Matches and other Sports Events

 Convention focusing on an integrated and multiagency approach to safety, security and service at football matches and other sports events Saint-Denis Convention (CETS No. 218)