Abidjan / Cote d’Ivoire, 16 September 2023 – Upon request of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) will be involved in the safety and security preparations of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023, the biggest football tournament in Africa, whose kick-off is expected to happen on the 13th of January 2024.
As a part of its mission to protect major sporting events in all their dimensions, from venues to people, the ICSS will work closely with CAF and COCAN 2023 - the organizing committee for the event, by providing capacity building, assistance in the development of key documentation and technical support through the deployment, during the event, of ICSS access control experts.
In this context, the ICSS will both mentor the Venue Safety and Security Teams during the tournament and provide reference materials for the Stadium Stewards.
“Since its establishment, the ICSS has been officially involved in the preparation of several large-scale football tournaments. We started with the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014, assisting the Brazilian authorities in the design of their safeguards strategies, particularly with regard to the protection of minors during the event, then our flagship cooperation with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy – Qatar 2022, and now the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, working closely with CAF, one of our main international partners,
We will make available all our knowledge, our expertise, our tools, and our passion to make sure that athletes, spectators, families, and any other participant will feel safe across the days of the tournament.” ICSS CEO Massimiliano Montanari said.
As a first action, the ICSS has contributed last week to the delivery of a safety and security training workshop in Abidjan, providing assistance for the 2023 COCAN on a number of key safety and security aspects.
Delivered as a part of the framework cooperation established with CAF and the ICSS to protect the development of the African football, the training took place in the context of a workshop which brought together experts from CAF, the ICSS and the Sport Ground Safety Authority (SGSA).
Various safety and security representatives from the Gendarmerie Nationale, Police Nationale and Groupement de sapeurs pompiers militaires (GSPM) participated in the training to learn about their duties and responsibilities as Safety and Security Officers Coordinators, Escort Commanders, Steward Supervisors, and Chief Stewards for the various competition and non-competition venues including stadiums, training sites, fan zones, and hotels.
The ICSS provided a series of theoretical and practical sessions on different sport safety and security topics and best practices including ‘Size and Scope of a Major Sporting Event (MSE)’; ‘Command and Control’; ‘Safety and Security Planning’; ‘Incident Response and Crisis Management’; and ‘Roles and Responsibilities of Steward Supervisors and Chief Stewards’. The aim of these sessions is to provide all stakeholders with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to create a safe and secure environment for fans to enjoy Africa’s most prestigious football competition.
“The training kicked-off the provision of a range of services we will be providing to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 to ensure they are kept abreast of the industry's best practices. This training enhances our partnership with CAF which started a long time ago with the launch of the UNITAR-certified Sport Safety and Security Training and Advanced Education Programme for professionals in Africa,” said Alain van Thiel, Head, Safety and Security Training Development at the ICSS.
The TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 will take place from 13 January to 11 February 2024. CAF and the ICSS will continue working together in support of the host nation and the local organizers, till the completion of the event.