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Australian venues to boost security following Paris attacks
Following last month’s Paris terrorist attacks, the AFL is reportedly looking to enhance security at stadiums across Australia next season, while fans at the Boxing Day Test at the MCG will also be subject to more stringent searches.
According to reports in Fairfax media publications, having undertaken a national stadium-by-stadium review of its match-day practices, the AFL will provide greater security at the gates and extra protection for fans, players, umpires and support staff next season.
The report by The Age sports writer Caroline Wilson suggests that plain clothes security personnel will be stationed across all AFL venues and extra funds will be made available for security technology.
In a response to the realities of international terrorism and intensified security threats, the AFL has moved to bolster and restructure its integrity department and has already devoted significant extra funds to its proposed new security policy
Fairfax Media reported that the heightened security alert for the 2016 season comes following an investigation ordered early this year by league AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan.
Having already identified increased match day security as a priority, the recent Paris attacks only served to escalate the AFL's plans.
Having visited American football’s Super Bowl, McLachlan and his team were apparently particularly impressed by the NFL's security procedures.
AFL fans can expect significant extra security both outside and inside venues as a result of the six-month review conducted by the AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon who will put forward his lengthy report to the AFL Commission on 15th December.
MCG Chief Executive Stephen Gough confirmed the AFL had been working closely with his staff all season and checking and testing the match-day procedures of the game's biggest and most regular venue almost on a weekly basis. Having met on Tuesday with security staff in the lead up to the forthcoming Boxing Day Test, Gough said his team was awaiting further instructions and details from the AFL.
Gough told Fairfax “our focus on our security procedures is definitely increasing and given events around the world it's just taken up to another level.
“The MCC, the MCG Trust, cricket and football are reviewing where we go from here. Obviously cricket is a priority but we will wait to hear from the AFL where they plan to take it."
Sporting venues around the world are reviewing security arrangements in the wake of last month’s Paris terrorist attacks with stadia reportedly being identified as targets for Islamic State jihadists.
Click here to read Caroline Wilson’s full report.
Images: The MCG (top) and Paris' Stade de France, a target for terrorists on 13th November (below).
20th November 2015 - ISLAMIC STATE JIHADISTS TARGET MAJOR VENUES IN TERROR CAMPAIGN
18th November 2015 - SAFETY AND SECURITY CHALLENGES FOR PROTECTING STADIA AND SPORT VENUES
16th November 2015 - VENUE MANAGERS ASSESS SECURITY AFTER PARIS TERROR ATTACKS
15th November 2015 - VENUES ACROSS THE WORLD SHINE BLUE, WHITE AND RED TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH FRANCE
21st February 2013 - VICTORIA ANNOUNCES TOUGH FINES TO CRACK DOWN ON SPORT HOOLIGANS
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