Drones. We’ve seen them used for good (hey, how about all those great shots of ASBA’s award-winning sports facilities?) and, well, less than good, such as the time back in 2015 when someone crashed one into the stands of the U.S. Open, startling players and spectators.
But some news broke out of Russia this week, stating there’d be a new use for drones – this during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
According to an article in Inside The Games, the new measure is intended to curb the fan violence known as ‘hooliganism’ which plagues many international soccer matches. Sergei Melikov, the deputy director of Russia’s National Guard, has said the surveillance drones will be used to help identify aggressive fans at the tournament so that security officers can remove them.
Russian fans were involved in violent clashes with England supporters in Marseille at the 2016 UEFA European Championships in France; Russia, which had initially stated that concerns about hooliganism were ‘overblown,’ appears to have changed course.
“We are paying special attention to measures which can preempt, detect and combat law-breaking by aggressive fans,” Melikov told the Interfax news agency.
Another security measure is the need for all spectators to apply for what Russia is terming a FAN ID credential. The credential is designed to identify and exclude individuals who have exhibited hooligan behavior in the past.
Security measures not related to fan-on-fan violence were also announced; these include video surveillance, special bomb squads and multilingual emergency medical support personnel in place at each of the venues being used to host World Cup matches.