FIFA’s head of security, Helmut Spahn, says football fans can travel to the World Cup without fear of hooliganism or terrorism. Much of the technology used to keep the venues safe and secure rely on International Standards.
Mr. Spahn told Germany’s DPA news agency that Russia is “very, very well” prepared.
Organizers of the FIFA World Cup expect one million foreign visitors to attend the tournament, representing a major security challenge for the authorities. Security measures will depend on a multi-layered approach that includes human and technology resources.
Previous World Cups and Olympic Games have shown the importance of a strong presence of police and other security personnel on the ground, as well as the need for good intelligence. The technology helping police and stewards to ensure the safety of spectators, the football teams and stadium staff will depend to a significant extent on systems that apply IEC International Standards.
The Brazilian government mobilized more than 85 000 soldiers and police during the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio, to protect fans and to deal with a wave of violent crime. However, even large numbers of security personnel need technical means to protect restricted areas and to prevent acts of violence.
Video surveillance systems (VSS) will play an important role in Russia. Around 160,000 cameras monitor Moscow alone, including 17,000 cameras integrated into the city’s transport system.
Police will also use facial recognition technology to track criminals and terror suspects.
International Standards for VSS are developed by IEC (Technical Committee) TC 79. The TC has published seven Standards in the IEC 62676 series on video surveillance systems for use in security applications, and is developing another one.
The IEC 62676 series is divided into 5 independent parts:
- Part 1: System requirements
- Part 2: Video transmission protocols
- Part 3: Analogue and digital video interfaces
- Part 4: Application guidelines
- Part 5: Data specifications and image quality performance for camera devices.
Many of the technologies used to safeguard the World Cup rely on standards developed by various Subcommittees (SCs) and Working Groups of ISO/IEC JTC 1, the Joint Technical Committee set up by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the IEC.
Controlling access to stadiums and other sensitive areas is mostly done using digital software applications with related hardware devices, such as magnetic swipe cards. Standards for such cards are developed by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17.
Technological solutions used to secure site areas including ACS comprising radio-frequency identification (RFID) token and biometrics.
RFID is a wireless technology enabling communication between interrogating devices and embedded electronic tags. It can be used to identify and track people and any type of product. RFID standards are prepared by ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31.
Biometrics is the responsibility of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 37, which has published more than 120 International Standards (including updates) and reports covering applications, exchange formats and even societal, cultural and ethical issues related to use of biometric technologies for identifying people.
Mr. Spahn appears confident that the World Cup will be safe and secure. “”My wife and two youngest sons will be travelling privately throughout Russia and attending games,” he said.
“If I had even the slightest concern that there could be problems, I wouldn’t let them do it.”