Malta is the latest country to host a UEFA programme in which trainers are being prepared to coach stadium stewards who are deployed at matches across the island.
This innovative programme that is organised by UEFA, aims to prepare trainers to deliver training for personnel involved in match operations.
Former UEFA Vice-President Michael van Praag opened the proceedings where he highlighted UEFA’s efforts in this area. Van Praag, who for many years served as President of the Dutch FA, spoke of the need to constantly maintain high levels of operations and security in European stadia.
The Malta FA President Bjorn Vassallo said that through this training programme, the Association will lay the foundations for a competent stewarding workforce in Malta. This will improve the stadium experience and render it safer for fans following their favourite football team.
In a meeting with Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri which took place on Saturday 20th November at the Malta FA Offices, all parties reaffirmed their committment to maintain the good collaboration with state actors such as the Malta Police and the Civil Protection Department. Such collaboration is crucial when delivering major events such as top domestic matches as well as home international fixtures.
Around 25 participants are following the five-day training course. These include employees from the football division of the Malta FA as well as external participants hailing from a number of stakeholders such as the Malta Police, the Civil Protection Department, and private contractors in the field of safety and security.
The Malta FA is keen to build on this programme as it continues to drive for change in the legislative framework for a better definition of the role of stewards in sports facilities in Malta. To this end, the Association has already presented proposals for amendments to national legislation governing public order in football stadia.
It is a strategic objective that by 2024 the Association will be in a better position to come up with a finalised strategy pertaining to stadium security.