The Euroleague Basketball Security Working Group, charged with studying proactive measures that will ensure a safe and fun environment at games for fans and participants alike, met in Barcelona in advance of making recommendations for improvements to the ECA Shareholders Meeting in early July.
The new group focused first on preventative measures that will help foresee and forestall potential problems. Chief among those measures are cooperation between clubs and communication with local authorities in the context of well-drawn safety and security plans that should be calibrated to each game played according to rivalries, home fan activities, visiting fans and other factors.
The group also discussed the need for each club to appoint a security manager and to educate fans as to their responsibilities and potential culpability by organizing safety campaigns in which team members would participate.
Among other measures being considered is Euroleague Basketball's CEO being empowered to request increased security measures, to prohibit visiting fans from attending games and to order games to be played partially or totally without spectators, all in exceptional circumstances only.
Disciplinary measures that serve as a deterrent were also reviewed by the working group and include quickly identifying and expelling from games any individuals causing security risks.
Incidents of egregious or repeated security failures on the part of clubs would be open to punishment by fines, by prohibiting fans from attending away games (including the Final Four), by having games played in neutral arenas, by discounting victories from the team standings and by disqualifying teams from the competition.
The working group will concentrate further on establishing the current practices in arena safety and security services for all clubs with an eye on establishing competition-wide protocols to be put in effect for the upcoming 2015-16 season once approved by the clubs.
Additionally, in cities with the most repeat incidents, Euroleague Basketball is considering preseason meetings to be organized with club representatives, government authorities and local police to anticipate and stop potential problems before they happen.
The Euroleague Basketball Security Working Group includes representatives of five clubs from five countries: FC Barcelona, Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade, Olympiacos Piraeus, Alba Berlin and Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul.