2012 Africa Cup of Nations Security Project
Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 7/10/2012 | Article type: Security 50
The Africa Cup of Nations is the main International Football Association competition in Africa. It is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and was first held in 1957. Since 1968, it has been held every two years.
The 2012 Games will be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
It was announced on May 31st 2011 that Magal S3 has signed a $35.5 Million Dollar contract for a turnkey project, to provide the fully integrated security system, covering multiple sites, for these games. Magal has been chosen as the main contractor to implement the security and safety solution for this prestigious and globally recognized event.
Magal S3 is a leading international provider of security, safety and site management solutions and products. Over the past forty years, Magal S3 has designed and installed thousands of customized installations for satisfied customers in over eighty countries around the world, including those situated in the most threatening environments. Magal S3 has leveraged its experience in the defense industry in Israel and abroad to develop a unique set of cutting-edge security and safety products.
Sporting Event Safety and Security Planning Considerations
Sporting events, particularly those with global appeal, are an obvious target for terrorists, as such attacks will attract the attention of the world to the particular terrorist cause.
The darkest day in sporting history was the at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich where terrorists took the Israeli national team hostage, eventually slaughtering eleven athletes and coaches and one German police officer after a 16-hour standoff.
Other major terrorist attacks at sporting events were the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in Pakistan, the bomb explosions in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park in lieu of the 1996 Olympics, the
2002 car bomb that donated adjacent to the Bernabau Stadium in Barcelona, a terrorist bomb that severely damaged the Olympic stadium in Stockholm In 1997, and the murder of Colombian player Andrés Escobar, during the 1994 World Cup.
More recently and closer to home was the deadly terrorist attack during the 2010 African Cup of Nations. The Togolese National Football team was ambushed by terrorists as they travelled by bus from Congo-Brazzaville, where they had been training, to the neighboring Angolan province of Cabinda. Three people—the team's assistant coach, their spokesman and their Angolan driver—were killed. Another nine members of Togo's party were wounded including Togo's reserve goalkeeper.
Crowd control and related issues have long been a topic of concern for sport facility managers as crowd related tragedies have plagued the industry over the years. The design and implementation of sound crowd control policies, limiting access to the sporting venues, crowd monitoring and gate control can help prevent these crowd related accidents.
Two main catastrophes that come to mind are the the Hillsborough disaster, a human crush that occurred on April 15th 1989 at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, England in a FA Cup semi-final, resulting in the deaths of 96 people and 766 being injured, and The Heysel Stadium disaster which occurred on the 29th of May 1985 when escaping fans were pressed against a wall in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, as a result of rioting before the start of the 1985 European Cup. Thirty-nine fans died and 600 were injured.
Other major European Tragedies were the 1971 Ibrox Stadium disaster in Scotland when 66 people were killed and 140 are injured when barriers collapsed near the end of a match between Celtic and Rangers and the 1982 Luzhniki disaster that took place at Lenin stadium in Moscow were a deadly human crush took the lives of at least 67 fans.
Definitely not limited to the UK, or Europe, there have been many major crowd control related disasters in sporting events: Abidjan, Ivory Coast (30/3 2009) at a World Cup qualifying match between Ivory Coast and Malawi leaving 22 dead and 132 wounded, Ghana, West Africa (9/5/2001) as a stampede at a packed soccer match between two of Ghana's leading teams killed at least 100 people, Harare, Zimbabwe (8/7/2000) twelve people died after a stampede at a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Zimbabwe, Buenos Aires, Argentina (23/6/1968) 74 people are killed and over 150 injured following a first-division game between River Plate and Boca Juniors when fans trying to leave the stadium mistakenly head toward a closed exit and are crushed against the doors by other fans unaware of the closed passageway and the Ellis Park Stadium disaster (11/4/2001), the worst sporting accident in South African history as 43 people were crushed to death by a crowd stampede.
Hooliganism and Violence
Football hooliganism is unruly and destructive behavior—such as brawls, vandalism and intimidation— by club fans, sometimes alcohol induced. Football hooliganism can range from shouts and small-scale fistfights and disturbances to huge riots where rival fans attack each other with deadly weapons. In some cases, stadium brawls have caused fans to flee in panic; some being injured when fences or walls collapsed. In the most extreme cases, hooligans, police, and bystanders have been killed, and riot police have intervened with tear gas, armored vehicles and water cannons.
Two tragedies associated with sport hooliganism are the 1967 Kayseri Ataturk Stadium disaster, resulting in 40 deaths and at least 300 injuries during the football match held on September 17, 1967 between the clubs of Kayserispor and Sivasspor at the Atatürk Stadium of Kayse i in Turkey. It was the worst sports-related violence to occur in Turkey. The other is the The 1964 Lima football riot of May 24, 1964, to-date, the worst riot in association football history. Violence erupted at a qualifying match for the Tokyo Olympics, leaving 318 fans dead and many more injured.
Not limited to soccer Hooliganism and violence is regularly reported at other sporting events like baseball, golf, cricket, Australian rules, Basketball, Football, Rugby and others.
Some of the most serious impacts of hosting sporting events arise from an increase in crime and adverse behavior. Studies have shown that during sporting events there is a rise in (1) opportunistic crimes of theft from visitors and from their vehicles, crime of sexual nature, common assault, robbery, traffic infringements, drunkenness and disorderly behavior and (2) organized criminal activities to target visitors.
Authorities must take great lengths to make sure such sporting events are safe, that crowds remain in check, and that any threat of criminal activity is thwarted. Video surveillance is an invaluable tool in helping to ensure the safety of the fans, players, employees, and the facilities themselves.
Limited Duration of Event
Unlike other critical infrastructure sites (like airports, power stations, oil and gas sites etc), mega sporting events are very duration limited. Once the Gold medal is given to the winning team, all the athletes and visitors travel back to their home countries and the event venues (Olympic parks, training grounds, stadiums) remain deserted in many instances.
The diligent designer of sporting event security must come up with creative ideas so as to exploit the investment of security and safety systems for the days and years after the event.