Sharing Spectator Safety Expertise With China

SGSA Inspector Rick Riding

In March 2015, the Chinese Government announced their aspiration for China to become a ‘global soccer powerhouse’ and launched a 50 point plan aimed at making it a reality.

The focus of the plan is on improving the performance of the national football team with a long-term goal of winning the World Cup. It also includes an aspiration to host the tournament in the future, and in the short term, to “improve the environment and atmosphere” of the sport.

Ties between the UK and China were strengthened in 2015 when George Osbourne visited the country and as part of that trip, made a £3 million commitment to develop football in China.

As part of a joint initiative between the British Council and the Chinese Football Association, the SGSA was invited to support the UK-China Football Development Forum to kick-start China’s journey in developing a bid to host a future FIFA World Cup.

The forum was attended by 120 delegates from the UK and China to discuss how the countries can work together to support China’s football development agenda and to explore the issues around football development in youth training, management of clubs, associations and league and facilities.

The SGSA was invited to share its expertise on spectator safety and Inspector, Rick Riding facilitated a workshop on developing safe, secure and welcoming football stadiums. 

Rick Riding said “The UK has a wealth of experience in spectator safety at sports grounds. Part of our remit is to share this expertise around the world for the benefit of all spectators.

“Stadium safety management arrangements lie at the heart of match-day operations and play a primary role in reducing risks and ensuring there is a safe, secure and welcoming environment for spectators and participants alike.

“The session was a great opportunity for delegates to discuss what an integrated approach to safety with all parties working together, would look like in China. “

The SGSA will continue to support the Chinese Government and the Chinese FA in developing its plans to improve stadium facilities and safety management processes throughout China.