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Security in connection with football matches with an international dimension

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Security in connection with football matches with an international dimension


Council Decision 2002/348/JHA — security at international football matches



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


EU countries must set up a national football information point in relation to the policing of football matches having an international dimension. These have the task of:

  • coordinating and facilitating international police cooperation and information exchange;
  • sharing information on high-risk supporters;
  • providing possible assistance to national authorities;
  • performing a risk assessment of their own country’s clubs and national team, made available to 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 involved;
  • operational information, providing a picture of proceedings in the course of the event;
  • tactical information, enabling appropriate action to maintain order and security, and feedback after the event.

Information is confidential and should be provided in a timely fashion, with safeguards on the exchange of personal data to conform to applicable domestic and international legislation.

A 2003 Resolution of the Council invites EU countries to consider banning individuals previously guilty of violence at football matches from football stadiums, including the possibility of bans extending to other EU countries, backed up by penalties for non-compliance.

The Handbook for international police cooperation, originally introduced in 1999 and updated by a 2006 Resolution of the Council, provides a template for this exchange of information. The handbook details arrangements for:

  • intelligence gathering,
  • reconnaissance,
  • spotting,
  • crowd control, and
  • communication with supporters and the media.

It also covers 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 agreed to strengthen cooperation and dialogue, including actions to step up efforts against violence at football stadiums. The 2 parties hold senior-level bilateral meetings at least yearly to review progress.


It has applied since 9 May 2002.


For more information, see ‘Supporting fair play and cooperation in sport’ on the European Commission’s website.


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 of 4 December 2006 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 (OJ C 322, 29.12.2006, pp. 1-39)

Commission Decision of 14.10.2014 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 25.05.2016