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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Security in connection with football events with an international dimension

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Security in connection with football events with an international dimension



Decision 2002/348/JHA — security at international football events


  • It aims to prevent and combat football-related violence in order to ensure the safety of EU citizens, by outlining methods for internationally coordinated policing of football events.
  • It sets up national football information points to enable information-sharing, cross-border cooperation and policing of international football events.


  • EU countries must set up a national football information point to support the policing of international top-level football events between teams from different countries. These have the task of:

    • coordinating and enabling international police cooperation and information exchange;
    • sharing information on high-risk supporters;
    • assisting national authorities where necessary;
    • performing a risk assessment of their own country’s clubs and national team and sharing this with other EU countries.
  • Information is shared before, during and after a football event as follows:

    • strategic information, specifying all aspects of the event, with particular reference to any security risks;
    • operational information, providing a picture of proceedings in the course of the event;
    • tactical information, enabling appropriate action to be taken to maintain order and security, and feedback after the event.
  • Information is confidential and should be provided in good time, with safeguards on the exchange of personal data, in accordance with relevant national and international legislation.
  • Decision 2002/348/JHA was amended in 2007 by Decision 2007/412/JHA on security in connection with football matches with an international dimension.
  • A 2003 Council resolution asked EU countries to consider banning from football stadiums individuals who had previously committed acts of violence at football events. It included the possibility of bans extending to other EU countries, backed up by penalties for non-compliance.
  • The handbook for international police cooperation, the ‘EU Football Handbook’, originally introduced in 1999 and updated by the Council resolutions of 4 December 2006, 3 June 2010 and 29 November 2016, provides a template for sharing information.
  • The handbook details arrangements for:

    • intelligence gathering;
    • reconnaissance;
    • the role of police spotters or informers;
    • crowd control;
    • communication with supporters and the media;
    • the conditions under which police officers can directly assist in other countries.
  • In a 2014 decision, the European Commission and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) agreed to boost cooperation and dialogue, including actions to step up efforts against violence at football stadiums. They hold senior-level meetings at least once a year to review progress.


It has applied since 9 May 2002.


For more information, see:


Council Decision 2002/348/JHA of 25 April 2002 concerning security in connection with football matches with an international dimension (OJ L 121, 8.5.2002, pp. 1–3)

Subsequent amendments to Decision 2002/348/JHA have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Council Resolution of 17 November 2003 on the use by Member States of bans on access to venues of football matches with an international dimension (OJ C 281, 22.11.2003, pp. 1–2)

Council Resolution concerning an updated handbook with recommendations for international police cooperation and measures to prevent and control violence and disturbances in connection with football matches with an international dimension, in which at least one Member State is involved (‘EU Football Handbook’) (OJ C 444, 29.11.2016, pp. 1–36)

Commission Decision of 14 October 2014 adopting the Arrangement for Cooperation between the European Commission and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) (C(2014) 7378 final of 14.10.2014)

last update 14.09.2017