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The second ESSMA Summit is taking place at the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao, Spain, from 19 to 20 January 2016.

The ESSMA Summit is the must-attend, two-day event organised by ESSMA (European Stadium & Safety Management Association), in partnership with the EPFL (European Professional Football Leagues), ECA (European Club Association) and ICSS (International Centre for Safety & Security).

During the Summit, keynote speakers will discuss many stadium industry topics and provide in-depth technical workshops on trending stadium issues, all of which will be combined with a technical and commercial stadium tour that will bring great insights into the new San Mamés Stadium. In conjunction with this, a Stadium Development Seminar will run on the first day of the event, which will inform attendees about the new stadium and renovation projects in Europe.

Keynote speakers include Sporting Kansas City’s Chris Wyche, Executive Vice President of the Club and General Manager of Sporting Park. He will compare the transatlantic versus European approach about how stadiums deal with Fan Experience and will also explain how much effect a stadium and its fan experience have on a club on match days.

The host club, Athletic Club de Bilbao, will also give a presentation entitled “A unique club with a different stadium”, during which it will talk about how the new stadium has become an icon for the city and how it has managed to transfer the old San Mamés traditions into the new stadium.

Other clubs and stadiums that are confirmed to speak include: FC Copenhagen, Aviva Stadium, Valencia CF, Legia Warsaw, Twickenham Stadium and many more.

This ESSMA Summit offers a fantastic opportunity to broaden your network in the stadium industry and link-up with European colleagues in a unique setting.


Please find all the information here at:




PanStadia & Arena Management magazine is proud to be an Official Media Partner to ESSMA and its members.

ICSS is working with the Indian Super League.

The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has announced it will once again work with the Indian Super League (ISL) to safeguard the integrity of the League for the 2015 season.

With the ISL proactively placing integrity at the top of its agenda, the ICSS Sport Integrity Directorate (SID) will provide its anti-corruption expertise to advise the ISL on the development of its overall integrity strategy in order to minimise the competitions risk to match-fixing and betting fraud, as well as conducting a top-level review of existing anti-corruption regulations and practices of the ISL.

Building on the successful collaboration in 2014, the ICSS SID will also provide operational support to the ISL during the 2015 season, delivering various education seminars with players, administrators and match-officials, briefing a team of local integrity officers as well as providing overall intelligence support.

A tailored betting monitoring system will also be put in place for each match to help identify suspicious betting patterns and manipulation of sports results.

Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said:

On behalf of the ICSS, I would like to thank the ISL for putting their trust in the ICSS and inviting us to share our expertise in the area of sport integrity.

The Indian Super League provided an incredible first season of top-level football in 2014 and it’s vital that, as the competition grows, the ISL continues to protect itself against the evolving integrity threats that confront sport worldwide.

Football in India has huge potential to become a powerhouse in world sport and I am delighted to see a new league like the ISL show its commitment to introducing proper integrity practices and procedures right from the early stages.


Chris Eaton, Executive Director of Sport Integrity at the ICSS, said:


As a burgeoning sport market, India is an important region for the ICSS and I would like to thank ISL for giving the ICSS Sport Integrity team the opportunity to build on and enhance the integrity practices of the League in its second season.


It is crucial that sport governing bodies show serious and proactive leadership in this area and understand the many threats that now face sport.


I am encouraged that the ISL has identified the possible risks it faces as it continues to grow and has taken steps to develop proper safeguards to deter corrupt and criminal behaviour.

With the ambition of operating one of the world’s most safe and secure sports and entertainment venues, Stadio della Roma has appointed the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) to provide the Security Strategy and Design.

Recognising that a secure experience for the fans of AS Roma and visitors to the 365 day-a-year entertainment precinct is imperative, Stadio della Roma will work with the ICSS to ensure security is integrated into the stadium and wider masterplan from the outset.

The ICSS will coordinate with Stadio della Roma’s design and engineering consultants and other stakeholders to determine the threats, risks, vulnerabilities and security operational requirements for the new stadium.

The ICSS will then ensure, based on relevant security design standards and international best-practice, that security is built into the venue without impacting on the aesthetics or operations of the venue.

Mark Pannes, CEO of Stadio della Roma, said:

We are delighted to have the International Centre for Sport Security as our partner on this project.

We are also determined to create a family-friendly environment for every fan who visits the stadium and that means that security is at the forefront of everything we are doing. Our whole project team is working closely with the ICSS surrounding the design, implementation and management of the highest-level security objectives including security risk assessment and security strategy development for both on-site infrastructure and cyber security.

Speaking about the appointment, Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said:

This partnership with one of the great football clubs of the world is another milestone in the development of the ICSS. Stadio della Roma has the potential to become a role model in the fields of safety and security. The ICSS is looking forward to a sustainable partnership with Stadio della Roma as the new and safe home of AS Roma.

Heinz Palme, Vice Director General of the ICSS, added:

We applaud Stadio della Roma for recognising the importance of integrating security design into the early stages of venue planning. Many stadium owners and operators are discovering too late the time, resource and financial impact of not incorporating security at an early stage. Working with Stadio della Roma, we will ensure it is embedded from the start, whilst delivering the best possible fan and visitor experience.


The ICSS will be participating in our ‘live’ event, Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, which is being held at the Singapore Sports Hub this September, 28-30. For the preliminary conference program, visit:

ICSS announces groundbreaking initiative on Financial Integrity and Transparency in Sport

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As the full glare of the international media spotlight is directed at sport governance and scandals involving tax evasion, money laundering and financial misconduct are uncovered across the globe, the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has announced a pioneering forum that will strengthen Financial Integrity and Transparency in Sport (FITS) and explore how sport, governments and the wider stakeholder community can move forward.

The FITS FORUM, to be held in Geneva on 3-4 September, is a call to action for the world’s leaders from sport, government and the financial and commercial sectors to address the most crucial threats facing the financial integrity and transparency of sport and implement long overdue reforms.

It will look at the critical next steps for sport and is part of the ICSS’s ongoing drive to develop a robust, coordinated, international approach to protecting sport in the face of the huge economic and commercial growth of the industry in recent years.

The FITS FORUM is part of the ICSS global project on Financial Integrity and Transparency in Sport (FITS), an innovative project into sport’s financial processes developed to establish a rigorous and independent diagnosis of the current realities and threats facing financial integrity in sport and foster the implementation of the much needed solutions.

Underlining the ICSS’s vision and firm commitment to safeguarding sport, the FITS Project will, for the first time, provide a holistic, fact-based analysis of the existing issues, as well as developing globally recognised standards for implementation by sport, governments and other key stakeholders.

Since work started in November 2014, Professor Matt Andrews (Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School) has led the FITS academic network in extensive preliminary research exploring the significant economic and commercial strength of the global sports industry.

Topics currently being researched and explored within the FITS Project include:

  • Third party ownership of players’ economic rights
  • Players’ transfers, agents activities and financial transactions
  • Offshore investment funds
  • Club ownership and governance structures
  • Bidding processes for sports events and media rights
  • Money laundering, tax evasion and other financial malpractice in sport

Speaking about the FITS Forum and Project, Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said:

Over the last decade, sport has experienced huge commercial and financial growth and now has a significant economic, cultural and social impact on people and societies around the world. However, governments, law enforcement agencies and sport governing bodies have been slow to put in place proper structures to independently regulate and supervise their finances, resulting in various scandals across the sporting world.

As part of our work at the ICSS, we believe there must be a strong, credible and coordinated international approach to safeguarding sport. The FITS Project and FORUM is a significant step forward as we look to drive global action to protect sport.

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of ICSS EUROPE and leader of the FITS global project, added:

We urge the world’s leaders in sport to join us at the forefront of the fight for effective financial integrity and transparency in sport. We invite them all to come to the FITS FORUM in September so, together, we can develop a blueprint for coordinated, global action against the growing threats facing the financial integrity and transparency of sport. As recent events have shown, more than ever, change is vital. The FITS Project strives to act as a catalyst for that change.

The ICSS has been  proactively  working on this project since November last year, with the vision of tackling the most critical threats affecting the financial integrity of sport and leading the way towards good governance and financial integrity in sport. Through a powerful combination of independent and rigorous research, coordinated action and strong leadership, the FITS Project will be a defining initiative for the whole of sport. We hope it will usher in a new era of financial integrity and ensure sport’s credibility and future development.

Preliminary research results of the FITS Project will be unveiled at the FITS FORUM, with final results and key findings announced in early 2016.

FITS Forum

ICSS is one of the many industry leading companies and associations to be participating in our ‘live’ event, this September’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific conference and exhibition for those involved in sporting events and sports venue design/build, management, operation, fit-out and technology.


AFC and ICSS partner to enhance safety and security of Asian football

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The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) have signed a wide-ranging partnership agreement this week to strengthen safety and security in Asian football.

The agreement, signed by the Presidents of the two organisations after the AFC Congress in Bahrain, will strengthen existing safety and security regulations, develop training programmes and help assess safety and security within the AFC Member Associations.

Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, AFC President said:

Safety and security is a top priority for the AFC, a basic requirement for any football match to take place. The AFC does everything within its powers to protect players, officials, coaches and spectators across Asia.

The ICSS is at the forefront of safeguarding sport and this agreement is a significant step forward in enhancing safety and security practices within the AFC and our Member Associations.

Mohammed Hanzab, ICSS President, added:

As sport and major events continue to increase in size and complexity, I would encourage other football associations and confederations to show the same proactive leadership as the AFC in sport safety and security to confront the new threats that sport now faces.

This partnership with the AFC represents a significant milestone for the ICSS and builds on our growing portfolio with various sports organisations and other major events rights-holders around the world.

As one of the fastest growing and most diverse football regions in the world, Asia is an important platform for the ICSS to showcase our expertise, as well as providing us with a unique opportunity to work on some of the world’s largest major sport events and venues.

As part of the agreement, the ICSS and AFC will work together on several safety and security projects, including:

  • The development of AFC safety and security regulations within the framework of FIFA international guidelines
  • Developing and delivering training programmes to educate security officers within AFC Member Associations, including ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes
  • Developing key requirements for the security design of sport infrastructure, security operations for clubs and international matches and tournaments taking place in AFC Member Associations
  • Supporting the growth of a professional network of security personnel to ensure the appointment of qualified staff for clubs, international matches and tournaments
  • Reviewing current safety and security documentation and reporting tools for clubs, international matches and tournaments taking place within the AFC
  • Providing safety and security assessments in collaboration with or on behalf of the AFC

ICSS partners with Portuguese Olympic Committee

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The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has this week signed an agreement with The Olympic Committee of Portugal – the Comité Olímpico de Portugal (COP).


The agreement will see cooperation between the Olympic Committee and the ICSS in a joint effort to safeguard the integrity of sport, promote the highest standards in terms of safety and security, and work together in the areas of child protection and youth development.


In the agreement, the COP recognises the vital role of the ICSS, taking into consideration its technical experience in safeguarding sport and in the exchange of information, knowledge-gathering, and best-practice across issues relating to integrity, safety and security.


The parties will work together to further the work of the Portuguese Olympic Committee in promoting and safeguarding the Olympic values and to consider greater focus on youth-exchange programmes, which aim to empower and educate youth through sport. These efforts will be promoted through the Save the Dream programme; a joint initiative of the ICSS and Qatar Olympic Committee.


Mohammed Hanzab, ICSS President said:


The work of the COP to promote sporting values and educate the young people goes hand-in-hand with the core values of the ICSS. As part of the ICSS’s ongoing work and commitment to the international sports community, one of the central aims of the Save the Dream programme is to educate young people about the importance of fair competition and integrity in sport. This new agreement signed with the COP will be an important step forward for the ICSS and I hope that this will provide a platform for future partnerships with other National Olympic Committee’s over the next few months.


 José Manuel Constantino, President of the Comité Olímpico de Portugal, said:

This agreement between COP and the ICSS is in the best interests of sport and the Olympic spirit. I anticipate that as we work together to promote the highest standards of integrity, safety and security, what will result will be a number of positive initiatives that will benefit players and ultimately, society.


The ICSS has a strong global reputation and through its established expertise in sport safety, security and integrity, works with many leading international organisations, such as  UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the World Bank.