Official urges Match Commissioners to prioritise safety, security during football games

By Georgina Bode

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Abuja  –  An official of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Christian Emeruwa, on Thursday urged Match Commissioners to take as their priority safety and security during and after football matches.

Emeruwa, who is the Federation’s National Security and Integrity Officer, gave the advice in his presentation at the 2017 Match Commissioners Seminar in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NFF organised the three-day seminar for officials billed to take part in matches of the 2016/2017 season.

Emeruwa said safety and security were the most important components to be considered in a successful match. “Failure to provide a safe and secured match venue is a recipe for crisis.’’

He said Match Commissioners must be at the stadium or the football pitch five hours before the commencement of a football match.

The NFF official explained that safety and security measures must be taken on the match day by the Match Commissioners.

“As a Match Commissioner, you must have a meeting with all service commanders. This is to remind everyone of his responsibilities.

“You must attend the security briefing and also brief security operatives when necessary. You must know the number of personnel to be deployed and their arrival and duration time.

“You must go to the match with your camera, if you discover any abnormalities in the stadium or field before or during the match. This will give you a good evidence while delivering your match report.

“You must know the number of doors and gates which will be used on match day. Screening of spectators at the entry points is necessary,” he said.

Emeruwa said a Match Commissioner must move round the stadium with police officers before the commencement of a football match.

The official, however, added that Match Commissioners must ensure that the dressing rooms,  the field of play and technical office must be cleaned on the match day.

He pointed out that safety and security measures after matches were also very important.

“Match Commissioners must ensure that both teams and officials leave safely, and also ensure that supporters also leave safely.’’

NAN reports that the seminar which started on Tuesday ended on Thursday.

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