Guide to the prevention of violence and anti-social behaviour in amateur football

fffOn 25 September 2014, the French Football Federation (FFF), the French Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Municipalities, Youth and Sport formalised a partnership to fight more effectively against the different forms of violence in amateur football competitions.

 This alliance is based on two basic principles:

  1. The exchange of information between the three actors and the fight against different forms of violence in football matches. Sharing such information will facilitate the assessment of the level of risk and the means with which to administer it and meet desired objectives.
  1. Prevent crime and anti-social behaviour by stressing the competences of the police and the Gendarmerie. Training sessions and matches are moments when young people gather together and risk-related behaviour may occur due to the consumption of narcotic substances. For this reason, it is important that qualified people like police antidrug instructors (PFAD) and the drug-related instructors (FRAD) of the Gendarmerie are involved. 

A result of this institutional cooperation is the publication of the Guide for the prevention of violence and anti-social behaviour in amateur football , which provides information about the existing mechanisms related to crime prevention and the fight against reoffending. It focuses on the coordinated actions carried by the actors:

The National Gendarmerie. This organisation provides the prevention officer (OPP), which stimulates and coordinates the actors involved throughout the district to prevent certain types of behaviour. The OPP can ask for the support of:

  • The 43 brigades Juvenile Crime Prevention (BPDJ), which carry out prevention measures in support of youth: organise awareness raising sessions related to issues like types of violence, extortion and theft in order to stop any kind of anti-social behaviour among crime concerning minors.
  • The police antidrug instructors (PFAD), who are concerned with preventing addictive behaviour involving minors, families and professionals, and reminding them of legal prescriptions.
  • The network of related components in the Gendarmerie: gendarmerie – school security, victim support, the association between the French Football Federation and the National Institute of Victim Support and Mediation

The National Police, which includes the National Division to combat Hooliganism (DNLH) and deals with relations with professional and amateur football leagues and departmental directorates of Public Security (DDSP). The DNLH is present nationwide and a privileged amateur football interlocutor.

The local members. The Amateur football League recommends the following initiatives:

  • Support clubs involved in matches where incidents are recorded. In the case of the consumption of narcotics in training sessions or when matches are played, the mobilisation of state services is advised to take preventive action, and specifically: the Gendarmerie group (OPP) and the National Police (DNLH).
  • Help resource centres by including an educational dimension to the actions started in different districts. For example, taking action in the face of dysfunctional conduct to raise awareness among teenagers of 13 and 14. To develop such action, the National Police must intervene (specifically, the DNLH, with the support of other services).
  • The National Gendarmerie (the BPDJ, the FRAD and the gendarmerie network – school security and the victim-support service).

Other issues included in the guide are: how to identify and organise a “sensitive match”, repair via alternative measures in judicial procedures, and the role of the mayor as an actor of proximity for prevention purposes, the Citizens of Sport programme and the programme Sports Success to deter young people from dropping out of school.

Related information: Profile of forms of violence in amateur football in France

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