IFA Match Observers and Club Liaison Officers came together recently for Football For All Good Relations training at Solitude, home of Cliftonville Football Club.
The training was organised by the IFA Community Relations Department and covered: an introduction to the IFA’s Football For All Strategy; the business sense for clubs in creating a fun, safe and inclusive culture; tackling sectarianism, racism and inappropriate behaviour; discussion on new proposals for sports laws and spectator controls; raising awareness of the needs of disabled football supporters; highlighting further training opportunities and cross border study visits.
Guest speakers and facilitators who delivered the training included, IFA Head of Community Relations, Michael Boyd, IFA National Security Advisor, Stephen Grange, Football For All Trainer, David White, David Mercer from the Department of Justice and Keith Ferguson from CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe).
Speaking after the event, Alan Dick, IFA Match Observer and Senior Match Delegate for the SPL said: “Tonight was very informative. It is great to see so many great people working towards making Northern Ireland football on the same level as England or Scotland for Health and Safety and if I can play a small part in this I am privileged to do so.
“I decided to become a Match Observer for the IFA when I saw it advertised on the IFA’s website. Being a Senior Match Delegate for the Scottish Premier League I felt that I could bring some experience to my match observer role in the IFA.”
A series of cross border study visits and seminars for IFA Match Observers, Club Liaison Officers and Chief Stewards, with the FAI, Derry City and Dundalk Football Clubs are planned for October and November.