Get to know Safe Stadium project – MŠK Žilina

We present third interview with Safe Stadium consortium member – MŠK Žilina

Why did you decide to join the Safe Stadium project?
We joined the project based on the recommendations of the project partner – ISEMI. We believed that it will give us the opportunity to compare the security of our stadium with other, more modern football facilities, as well as  allow us to gain valuable knowledge in relation to CBRN safety and security measures useful in the organization of sports events.
Thanks to the project, have you already improved security during the match? If so, in what way?
The project started with gaps and need analysis of sport facilities involved in the project which covered survey questionaries’ and study visits at stadiums. This allowed us to analyse our procedures and approach to the safety as a process. As part of the project, we are trying to implement several changes in the organization of matches, the training of organizers, and we are also putting pressure on other organizations that have an impact on the safety of fans at our stadium (Žilina hockey club).
Can you explain more about the training for stewards? Was it helpful?
The training was very useful, as it was tailored to the need of the trainees – stewards. Additionally the training was accompanied with a practical part focusing at personal protection and detection equipment. By implementing the training in 2023, we succeeded in taking the first significant step towards the goal of educating people. We plan to continue these activities in cooperation with SFZ (Slovak football association) or as part of projects that could follow on from the “Safe Stadium” project.
Do you have any other plans to improve security in relation to CBRN threats?
We plan to implement project procedures. The project fits into our club approach to safety and security. For example, in connection with the organization of the ME 2025 (European Championship U21), we plan to modernize the turnstile system, while our goal is the mandatory registration of fans, including the use of biometric data.
Which parts of the project do you find most beneficial/interesting and why?
The visits at partners sport facilities were very interesting for us, as it gave us, the possibility to observe and compare safety procedures at facilities of different sizes and located at various EU countries. Training materials and brochures explaining CBRN threats as well and visual materials like action schemes focusing on crucial CBRN procedures will definitely improve our safety procedures.

Lodz exercise video!

Project Consortium invites to watch a video from Large Scale Exercises organized in Municipal Stadium in Lodz. The aim of the exercise was to test procedures and recommendations developed with the project.

Anti-terrorists at the City Stadium in Lodz!

On the 6-7 March a Large Scale Exercise (LSE) have been organized by Safe Stadium consortium. The large-scale exercise was held at the Lodz City Stadium. It was a joint effort of the whole partnership with the leading role of Biohazard Prevention Center (UniLodz), City Arena of Culture and Sport (Makis), The Regional Police Headquarters in Lodz (KWPL) and International Security and Emergency Management Institute (ISEMI) .

The Safe Stadium project is entering its final phase, and this exercise was one of the final stages. The exercise was aimed at testing the procedures and recommendations developed as part of the project, which are mainly intended for sports event organizers, facility administrators and law enforcement.

The event started in on 6ht of March with training for stewards and security managers. The training covered:

  • Introduction to CBRN and crucial CBRN procedures (e.g.: recognition, response, evacuation) – presented procedures were evaluated during the LSE,
  • Table top exercise, which analyzed response to threats tested during LSE,
  • Virtual Reality session, which tested VR solution developed within the project.

The second day was the Large Scale Exercise. The event covered: terrorist attack on the spectator with unknown chemical substance. This attack was followed by an evacuation of spectator and decontamination of those who were affected. Simultaneously the terrorist, who was trying to run away, was stopped by Police, following an exchange of fire. The LSE allowed the project to test various recommendation and procedures developed within Safe Stadium. In the event almost 400 people were involved: around 300 Police and UniLodz students acting as spectators, 25 stewards, 160 Police Officers form various units and 20 fire fighters. Specially for this exercise, the FK Gerlachov football club came to Lodz from Slovakia to play a match against the LKS III Lodz team.

,,Biological threats are the most difficult to counter, because clear procedures are the most difficult to develop in this case. The procedures must be complex and diverse.”
– Head of the Biohazard Prevention Center at the University of Lodz – Michal Bijak

Thank you and see you on next exercises!


SAFE STATIUM representatives participated in the Final Conference of the APPRAISE H2020 counter-terrorism project

At the end of February Rafał Batkowski, Ph.D (Expert on counter-terrorism in CEPOL – EU Agency for law enforcement training) participated as one of the experts cooperating with The Biohazard Prevention Centre in the Final Conference of the APPRAISE H2020 counter-terrorism project. APPRAISE H2020 EU Project targets the protection of public places and unprotected public facilities #softtargets by strengthening cooperation between the state and private security sectors.

Rafal Batkowski, Ph.D represented Biohazard Prevention Center, UŁ and the projects we coordinate: SAFE STADIUM, PRoSPeReSMall-CBRN and the partner SHRINEs Project. The conferences like this are an excellent forum to share knowledge, experience and recommendations.
We are grateful to work with such experienced experts!

Internal training

On January 17, 2024, police officers from Lodz Voivodeship Police and the City Headquarters in Lodz as well as security experts from Lech Poznań, Seris Konsalnet and City Arena of Culture and Sport in Lodz attended a Siena X training. Siena X is an exercise tool developed by International Security and Emergency Management Institute that allows to test simultaneous online communication of many entities, implementation of solutions to solve crisis situation and assessment of the actions undertaken by a group of experts. After the training, there was an discussion related to various threats that training participants experienced in real life during matches they organized/secured. Additionally, solutions (procedures) prepared as part of the project have been discussed. The workshops are one of the last preparatory stages of the project, before large-scale exercises planned for March 2024 in Lodz, which are a part of a validation process of a Safe Stadium deliverables.


The training was organized by International Security and Emergency Management Institute and Lodz Voivodeship Police.

Get to know Safe Stadium project – ISEMl

We present second interview with Safe Stadium consortium member – International Security and Emergency Management Institute (ISEMl).
Why did ISEMI join the Safe Stadium project?
International Security Emergency and Management Institute is professional platform of former or active police and national security officers, military, civil protection and crises management experts from around the world with great knowledge and experience in CBRN safety, security and related topics. We decided to join the Safe Stadium project with the aim to share our expertise and to support achievements of all objectives in Safe stadium project – Integrated large sport facilities protection system supporting the CBRN security of mass.
Which of your proposals do you think are most important for the project?
The most important outcome of the project is to equip our end users´ consortium partners from MAKIS, SERIS, MSK Zilina, Real Madrid and Lech Poznan with knowledge, training and raising awareness materials, procedures and tools that they will use them in real life during sport and mass events at their stadium after project to be able to prevent, protect, response to CBRN Incidents or Attacks in close cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies. At the beginning of project, we analysed all gaps and needs and provided recommendations to improve situation at the stadiums regarding CBRN safety and security. Based on analyses, consortium developed integrated CBRN protection system, training and raising awareness materials, exercises, different procedures, guidelines and plans and we are ready to execute trainings and exercises to validate if all developed deliverables are useful and beneficial for end users. We have been working very hard to achieve all project objectives.
What CBRN threats are the most dangerous for stadiums?
The most dangerous CBRN threats are those that can create immediate primary effects, it means contamination which can cause harm to people and secondary effects from panic, chaos, that result in different injuries or deaths.
Can such agents be brought to the stadium earlier and activated later?
Everything depends on security measures at the stadiums before, during and after matches or mass events. At the beginning of project, we assessed current capabilities of stadiums in project, how they are prepared for such situations. Based on the analyses we provided reports to stadiums managers, where we proposed some recommendations to enhance CBRN security at their stadiums. If one or more of established security measures are violated, sure there is possibility to bring hazardous material to vicinity of stadiums and to activate it during sport or mass events. Mission and tasks of sport or mass event organizer, security staff and stewards are very significant to not allow such incidents or attacks happened. They have to be fully focused on their tasks and do not underestimate any situation before, during and after sport or mass event at the stadiums.
Which groups of employees should be trained, only stewards?
During analytical phase of project, we identified needs to organize trainings and raising awareness for Stadium managers, Security managers and staff, Stewards, Regular (non-security) employees and Tenants. We decided to develop training curriculums with training materials for Security Managers and Stewards and raising awareness leaflets, brochures and videos for Stadium managers, Regular (non-security) employees and Tenants. Each target group should be trained according to needs and requirements of end users.
Are activities related to responding to CBRN threats too expensive, can sports clubs afford such expenses?
Speaking about the response to CBRN Incident we know that probability of such incident or attack is very low, however the impact is very high. Every stadium should cooperate with national or local police, firefighters and medical units to manage response with their capabilities, but stadium security personnel, stewards and speaker should be able to support response mainly in very initial phase. Response to CBRN threats is quite expensive and during high visibility sport events a lot of multiagency services are in place to be ready to prevent and response to any CBRN Incidents or attack. However, Safe stadiums project offers some solutions that can improve situation with minimum financial expenses. We developed trainings, basic response procedures, raising awareness documents and integrated tool for security rooms, that could be used at stadiums. Detection equipment, personal protective equipment, decontamination equipment is expensive, but big clubs may invest minimum expenses to achieve basic standards in detection of CBRN threats and protection against them.
Do you see importance to share outcomes of Safe stadium project?
During EU CBRN COE Project 61 Sound Management of Chemicals and their associated wastes in South East Asia, where ISEMI was one of the implementers, we informed experts from Cambodia and Thailand, about Safe stadium project objectives, tasks and activities. This led to further cooperation on enhancing of CBRN Capabilities in Cambodia as part of EU CBRN COE Project 62 On-site Technical Assisstance to EU CBRN COE in South East Asia. During training of Cambodian CBRN Response Team for SEA Games 2023, we implemented some procedures that we developed in Safe stadium projects and we see a lot of useful deliverables that can be shared with stadium security managers or Law Enforcement Agencies in EU and around the world with the aim to cope successfully with CBRN Threats.

Cooperation between the Safe Stadium and the Polish Police Headquarters

On 7 December 2023, a working meeting was held at the Police Headquarters in Warsaw to discuss the assumptions and current status of work in the Safe Stadium Project. The meeting was organized in connection with the planned Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2025.


One of the assumptions of the Polish Presidency is to attempt to introduce recommendations/ recommendations/ directives within the EU on countering CBRN threats in connection with sports and other large mass events. Safe Stadium, with its research findings and developed procedures could support  this initiative. Further consultations and analyses of materials developed by the Project Consortium are planned.

New and Emerging Technologies

The subject of Investigating the Nexus Between New and Emerging Technologies and Major Sporting Event Protection was debated at an on-line conference organized on 22 November by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), in cooperation with International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)’s Project Stadia.

The event was attended by law enforcement officers, policymakers, practitioners, international and regional organizations, the private sector, academic researchers and civil society As emphasized by the organizers its aim was to promote coordination and coherence to identify new and emerging technologies which may be responsibly leveraged by Member States as an innovative tool for protecting vulnerable targets on the occasion of major sporting events. Therefore, the meeting served as a platform for around 200 participants from all over the world to debate about safety during sport events, as well as, support cooperation between governments and technology companies. We are proud that Safe Stadium project, presented at panel “Countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes against major sporting events” supported the debate.

Safe Stadium at Security Research Event

Safe Stadium project has been invited to Security Research Event (SRE) organized by the European Commission with the support of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU in Brussels on 24 and 25 October 2023.
This event is an annual initiative focused on connecting industry, policy makers and knowledge institutions working in the area in security.  This year over 50 European project/initiatives have been presented. The event was accompanied by panelist discussion focusing on future of security research, cascading effects of crises, disaster preparedness and resilience or society digitalization and threats and opportunities that are associated with this phenomenon. Michał Bijak, Safe Stadium project coordinator, was invited to a panel focusing on cascading effects of crises.

Safe Stadium at Council of Europe

On 18th October Safe Stadium project have been presented at Committee on Safety and Security at Sports Events (T-S4) at the Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and other Sports Events.

The meeting aim was to discuss between representatives of convention signatory countries how to increase safety and security of sport events as well as how to combat hate speech in sport and promote gender equality in sport.

The project Safe Stadium presented outcomes of the research phase which showcase that stadium are quite well prepared to traditional threats, however CBRN component is missing both in awareness and preparedness. Further project solution have been presented.

During the meeting T-S4 Committee and Safe Stadium project members jointly agreed to work together on annex to The Convention focusing on CBRN threats.