January 24 - The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has announced it will stage a event, the Sport Security Forum: Challenges and Solutions, in Cairo at the end of the month highlighting the security challenges in Egypt following the Port Said stadium tragedy.
Backed by the Egyptian Ministry of Sports, the Egyptian Sports Writers Union (ESWU) and the Qatar Sports Press Committee (QSPC), the two-day forum will include workshops and lectures exploring sport security within Egypt and the security challenges the country faces when hosting sporting events.
The inaugural event will bring together delegates from around Egyptian sport, including senior Government officials, representatives from Egypt's leading fan groups, high-level football administrators and recognised academics and journalists, while the key themes being explored will cover the role of private security at major sporting events, the role of the media, stadium design and technology.
ICSS vice-president Mohammed Hajaj Al-Shahwani, QSPC President Mohammed Al-Malki and ESWU President Ridwan Al-Zayati visited Cairo yesterday to discuss preparations for the groundbreaking event with Egypt's Minister of State for Sports Al-Amri Farouq, who said the event would be an important step in bringing about the necessary change in security in football stadiums in the country.
"We are proud to be here in Egypt and to support Egyptian organisations to deliver a safe and secure security strategy for future sporting events hosted in the country," Al-Shahwani said.
"We have received a warm welcome from everyone here in Cairo.
"Egyptian sport has a strong heritage in Africa and around the wider region and we hope the forum will shed light on sport security and the current challenges facing Egyptian sport in general and football in particular.
"On behalf of the ICSS, we look forward to sharing our international network and expertise with clubs, fan groups, and officials at this important event."
The Port Said tragedy left 74 people dead, most were crushed when panicked crowds tried to escape the stadium, on February 1 last year.
Violence at the match between Cairo's al Ahly and Port Said's al Masry began minutes after the kick off in Port when Masry fans invaded the pitch, hurling stones and fireworks at visiting supporters.
The violence in at the stadium sparked riots in Cairo during which a further 16 people died.
"This event is one of the fruits of the partnership between QSPC, ESWU and the ICSS and on behalf of the QSPC, I look forward to taking part in this inaugural conference and supporting our Egyptian colleagues to develop real solutions for the hosting of safe and secure major events around the country," Al-Malki said.
Al-Zayati added: "This forum will hopefully become a cornerstone in developing critical solutions in sport security in Egypt.
"The time is right to discuss these issues with all stakeholders in Egyptian sport and I look forward to welcoming delegates from around the region for what I am sure will be a thought-leading event."
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