Professor Mark Pieth, President of the Basel Institute, moderates local panel discussion at the University of Basel on security and safety of football stadia

On 29 September 2017, Professor Mark Pieth, President of the Basel Institute, moderated a panel discussion at the University of Basel on the topic of “how safe are football stadia?”

The discussion highlighted interesting elements of violence prevention and control strategies, including at club level with examples from F.C. Basel. It also showcased concrete challenges in ensuring security and safety in and around football stadia: who carries what responsibility and where are the implementation boundaries between clubs, municipalities and the state.

The panelists included President of F.C. Basel, Bernhard Burgener, Director for Safety of the Canton Basel Stadt, President of the “Fan-Arbeit Schweiz”, Andi Schneider, and SP Member of Parliament of Basel-Stadt, Tanja Soland. all of whom contributed to the lively exchange of opinions on the topic.  

Challenges that affect the football sport as illustrated in this panel discussion are not limited to issues of violence, but include also sports betting, financial integrity and corruption, and the governance of sports organisations, amongst others. The Basel Institute has dedicated a substantial amount of work to some of these themes, including during 2010-2013 when it played a key role in supporting the reform process of FIFA as the Secretariat of the Independent Governance Committee under the direct leadership of Professor Pieth. Based on this track record and with a view to advancing the cause of good governance in sport, the Institute in January 2017 also joined the founding group of members of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA). SIGA focuses its attention on good governance, financial integrity and sports betting, and is well placed as an organization in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders committed to ensuring that sporting organizations remain credible actors in the world of sports.