Violent and Antisocial Behaviours at Football Events and Factors Associated with these Behaviours
Jul 23, 2018
This report presents the findings of a study on approaches that have been taken to prevent and respond to antisocial and violent behaviours among football fans, and the extent to which these approaches proved effective. The report has been prepared to inform preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but is intended to be of interest to practitioners, policy-makers, academics and people interested in the field of sport spectator safety.
Review of interventions
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Arabic language version (summary only)
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Disorder and violence at football matches are well-recognised issues that have attracted considerable attention in the media as well as among policymakers and practitioners. In an effort to prevent and respond to the phenomenon, numerous strategies and interventions have been implemented by relevant stakeholder groups, including police and other security professionals, football clubs and associations, fan organisations and local and national governments. However, despite the wide range of tools available, there are gaps in the understanding of the current state of practice and its effectiveness.
RAND Europe was commissioned by Qatar University to provide a series of reports looking into the issues of violence and antisocial behaviour at major sporting events. This second report responded to the gaps in our current understanding through a focused, structured literature search and aimed to provide a critical assessment of previous research into these issues. The review observed a multitude of strategies that can be and have been implemented to counter antisocial behaviour at football matches. They can broadly be grouped into four categories: 1) organisation of the venue (e.g. equipping stadiums with cameras, seating-only arrangements), 2) organisation of the events (e.g. arranging transport for away fans; setting up early kick-off times); 3) approaches to policing (e.g. dialogue-based policing, police liaison teams); and 4) laws, policies and partnerships (e.g. higher penalties for hooliganism, cooperation with fan associations).
With respect to the effectiveness of these interventions, the review found that the existing evidence base (at least as captured by the parameters of the review) is underdeveloped. The review found evidence pertaining only to a subset of interventions. Of the studies offering an effectiveness assessment, the majority faced notable methodological limitations.
Key findings on the quality of the identified evidence and the evidence base
Detailed findings: interventions regarding rules of attendance
Detailed findings: logistical organisation of matches
Detailed findings: in-stadium equipment, features, services
Detailed findings: policing interventions
Overview of implemented strategies
Data extraction template
The research described in this report was prepared for Qatar University and conducted by RAND Europe.
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