SGSA Share UK Experience with the Polish Football Community

An image of the National Football Stadium in Poland

Over 120 representatives from Polish football came together during October in Warsaw for a unique one-day conference aimed at promoting dialogue and cooperation between supporters and the authorities. Organised by the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism, representatives from clubs, fans, football authorities and government joined the debate on fan projects, safety and security of supporters and support services.

SGSA Inspector, Martin Girvan was invited to address the audience on the UK model and share experiences of it working in practice. The UK has developed a multi-agency integrated safety management approach, putting the spectator at the heart.  

The session entitled “Integrated Safety Management” explored the issue of spectator expectations and their experiences and how engaging with supporters early on, can improve safety and create a better experience for spectators.  

“SGSA has championed an integrated safety management approach.” says Girvan, “What this means in practice is, representatives from clubs, Police and Emergency Services and in some cases supporter representatives sit on each Safety Advisory Group (SAG). The benefits of this model means we can adopt a unified approach to risk management, which all parties have contributed to, understand and follow. We are all talking the same language which contributes to ensuring in a safe and secure event for spectators.”

Delegates at the event were supportive of the UK approach and were strong supporters of authorities taking a more collaborative approach with fans. “Improvement of the situation in football stadiums can only be achieved through dialogue and cooperation with all stakeholders including, primarily, football fans” said Mr Adam Giersz, Adviser to Sports Minister (Poland).