The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) together with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) celebrated the first batch of certified practitioners of the 'Sport Safety and Security Training and Advanced Education Programme' in an online certification ceremony.

The internationally certified programme aims to enhance, develop, and strengthen the knowledge, skills, abilities, processes and resources of safety and security professionals to strengthen the safety and security of sport in Africa with a main focus on football competitions.

The event highlighted the learning journeys of 25 students from African football federations, leagues, and clubs.

The alumni shared remarkable experiences and how the programme shaped their professional careers as safety and security professionals in African football federations, leagues, and clubs.

Commenting on this occasion, ICSS CEO, Massimiliano Montanari said: "It was great meeting the first sport safety and security practitioners able to successfully complete our online courses, the first ever training jointly certified by CAF, UNITAR and the ICSS. We welcome other security professionals to join and wish the best continuation to our amazing alumni."

For his part, CAF Head of Safety and Security, Dr Christian Emeruwa said: "Sport transcends cultural barriers; it unites people and promotes harmony. However, to preserve its positive effects, the safety and security of sport is crucial. It requires specific expertise, continuous training, and unwavering commitment for excellence and this is why we are proud to have been part of this initiative of developing the CAF-ICSS-UNITAR Advanced sport safety and security professional course to prepare current and future operators in the industry."

Associate Director at UNITAR's CIFAL Global Network, Julio Andrade said: "The CIFAL Global Network of the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) have the great pleasure to join the ICSS and the CAF in the Sport Safety and Security Training and Advanced Education Programme Virtual Certification Ceremony. On behalf of UNITAR, I would like to congratulate all the participants who have successfully completed the courses and will receive our certificates of achievement. We have the strong commitment to continue our partnership with both institutions for new programs at the same time that we aim to scale this successful capacity building initiative to engage other regional partners."

Graduating from the Sport Safety and Security Training and Advanced Education Programme brought a lot of emotions for the participants.

Managing Director at Mandela National Stadium in Uganda, Jamil Sewanya, who is also a CAF and FIFA Safety and Security Officer, said: "Studying on the Sport Safety and Security Training and Advanced Education Programme has enabled me to gain knowledge and skills required for managing safety and security in football events. The faculty and lectures are outstanding."

For her side, CAF Safety and Security Officer, from the Kingdom of Eswatini, Xolile Nokuthula Vilakati said: "The programme has been an incredible opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills and enhance my professionalism in my daily duties in the implementation and leading of safety and security operations on all CAF Events."
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