Jahangir Khan attend AFC Security Officer Workshop: FIFA vow to make stadiums safer, prevent tragedi

Lahore, 2 June ; Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s Director Administration Major Jahangir Khan Lodhi has returned last night from Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur after attending Workshop for the Asian National Security Officers and Asian FIFA Security Officers.

FIFA and AFC held a joint one-day Workshop at PJ Hilton Hotel on 1 June 2009 in two sessions with the aim of teaching security officers how to ensure safety inside and outside stadiums. The panel was headed by FIFA experts Walter Gagg and Adnan El Guindy, as well as Malaysia’s FIFA Security Officer Datuk Dell Akbar Khan and FIFA Development Officer Windsor John.

“One of the key requirements was an adequate pre- and post-match security plan for each match, and for areas immediately outside the stadium and in which fans congregated,” said Akbar Khan.

Windsor John added that such Workshops would be regular feature and confirmed the dates for a FIFA National Security Officers Workshop in each of the six Confederations. Starting in Cairo in May 2009, coming to Kuala Lumpur on 1 June and finishing in Miami in early 2010, the workshops form part of the Global FIFA Security Concept.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, currently at Bahamas’s capital Nassau, to attend 59th FIFA Congress, said that stadium safety and security has been among the greatest ongoing concerns for football bodies around the world. The history of football is littered with tragic tales of deaths from stampedes, overcrowding of stadiums, fires and other hazards.

He urged all football playing nations to work together to do everything possible to prevent tragedies such as the most recent at Abidjan’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium during a 19th World Cup Qualifier – Cote d’Ivoire v Malawi – on 29 March 2009, where 19 people lost their lives outside the stadium, from happening again. “Not one human life should be put in the balance by football and it good that FIFA accepted proposal that where there are confirmed cases of security issues, the kick-off should be delayed and Technical Officials should therefore not start a match unless security is established outside the stadia and spectators have taken their seats,” added Faisal who is also AFC Disciplinary Committee member.

“One of the first messages hammered home to the more than 25 representatives from AFC during Workshop was the need for full-time and qualified National Security Officers. The Workshops will involve National Security Officers from each respective FIFA Member Association, Confederation Security Officers, as well as members of FIFA Stadium and Security Committee,” said Jahangir who added that FIFA Stadium and Security Committee is comprised of Chairman Junji Ogura (Japan), Deputy Chairman Amos Adamu (Nigeria) and members David Blood (Republic of Ireland), Ivan Curkovic (Serbia), Essam El-Din Ahmed (Egypt), Ted Howard (USA), Dell Akbar Khan (Malaysia), Seamus Marten (New Zealand), Protogenes Pinheiro (Brazil) and David Sabir (Bermuda).