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Kuala Lumpur: The roles and responsibilities of the national security officers (NSO) were strengthened with the second AFC NSO Seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday.

Officers from 38 Member Associations from across Asia took part in the two-day seminar which was organised by the AFC Competitions department, with the aim of informing the officers on the latest AFC developments and practices, as well as familiarise them with the AFC Safety and Security Regulations.

The AFC Competitions Director Shin Mangil, who gave the opening remarks, reaffirmed the importance of the national security officers, saying: “Managing the expectations of clubs and supporters without affecting the spirit of the game or fan experience can be a tough balancing act. But, there can be no compromise for the safety and security of everyone involved in the game.

“All of you have an essential role to play, and the AFC is fully committed to ensuring our Member Associations are empowered with the tools and capabilities to exercise your duties with confidence and efficiency.

“Success can only be achieved by ensuring that optimal safety and security policies and procedures are in place, while maximising the competition experience for our fans, media and viewers from home.”

AFC Stadium and Security Manager Shahin Rahmani began the seminar with a presentation on the functions of the stadium, safety and security unit, such as producing risk assessments, assisting the Local Organising Committee and other initiatives taken by the AFC Stadium and Security unit.

The participants also benefitted from the discussion of various AFC incidents in the past related to ticketing issues, overcrowding and political tension, among others.

Dr. Steve Frosdick, Independent Expert on behalf of UEFA National Associations, spoke on counter terrorism and cited  the numerous attacks in Europe. He raised attention on protective security, as well as the reality of the threat to stadiums.

“Terrorism is no longer a theoretical threat, it is very real,” said Dr. Steve. “Hence the importance of managing it as a substantial hazard.

“Paying attention to the smallest detail like good housekeeping, can be the significant difference in ensuring safety and security.”

The officers were then introduced to the AFC Safety and Security Regulations, which is to ensure Match Organisers are aware of their duties and responsibilities before, during and after a match, and in particular to safeguard the safety and security of everyone in the stadium.

AFC Legal Counsel Gursimran Brar concluded the first day by going through several AFC disciplinary cases, outlining the actions and penalties taken based on the different circumstances.

On Saturday, Dr. Steve will share on stadium infrastructure and safety management, and on past UEFA security incidents, before FIFA Director of Security Helmut Spahn presents on safety and security preparation.

Photos: AFC