Security and Safety Officers (SSO) from CAF, zones and member associations virtually met on Wednesday to discuss several issues related to safety and security operations in Africa.
During the key annual continental meeting initiated by CAF Security and Safety Department, the hundred participants from the various CAF member associations were informed of the CAF Safety and Security annual roadmap for the success of sporting events.
Introducing the meeting, Colonel Major Djibrilla Hima Hamidou, Chairman of CAF’s Safety and Security Committee and member of CAF’s Executive Committee, reminded the participants to “take the measure of [their] role.”
“Security is the most important aspect no matter how beautiful the match is because if there are security incidents, everything is reduced to nothing,” he highlighted.
Representing CAF Secretary General Mosengo-Omba, CAF’s Chief Operations Officer Abi Ijasanmi welcomed the participants and added: “CAF is dedicated to enhancing the security and safety in all our user groups and stadiums across Africa and we can only do so with the active cooperation of all of yourselves. We will continue to discuss the necessity to maintain the progress made as far with all our strategic key players.”
The discussions were led by CAF’s Head of Security and Safety, Dr Christian Emeruwa, who presented a report on the various activities of the past year, especially after Men’s and Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and Morocco, as well as the successful inter-club competitions among others.
Emphasis was put on Safety and Security officers who are grouped under three categories:
- CAF Safety and Security Officers: These are experts directly affiliated to CAF.
- Regional Safety and Security Officers: They are proposed by the zones and trained by CAF.
- National Safety and Security Officers: They are affiliated to CAF Member Associations.
To this effect, Dr Emeruwa recalled that more than 615 people have been trained since the creation of the department in February 2019 before receiving a CAF/FIFA certification.
FIFA Director for Safety, Security and Access, Helmut Spahn, encouraged the efforts of CAF’s Security Department and praised the fruitful collaboration between the two entities. The collaboration has resulted in the creation of an online platform developed by FIFA for the continent’s SSOs. Safety & Security Manager for FIFA Tournaments & Events, Katarina Steinberg, presented the opportunities for CAF SSOs and those interested in Security matters through this online platform and the milestones for the introduction of the innovative tool.
The meeting also saw the participation of the ICSS (International Centre for Sport Security) CEO Massimiliano Montanari, an opportunity to recall the major achievements of the collaboration between the two institutions, notably the launch of advanced courses certified by the UN covering all aspects of security and safety in football.
The first historical annual meeting is part of the strategic objective of the Safety and Security Department to maintain continuous communication with all safety and security officers across Africa and to keep them informed of the achievements so far and the future prospects in terms of safety and security within CAF.