The challenge: protecting our stadia and sportspeople.(Disaster And Emergency Management)

A landmark conference to be held alongside the World Firefighters Games later this year will examine the challenges inherent in staging any major event, in particular a sporting event. As fears over security in Athens for this year's Olympic Games grow almost daily, FIRE examines the history of attacks on sporting events and the need for such a conference

One hundred days before the opening of the 2004 Olympics in Athens three bombs exploded outside an Athens police station. While they caused only slight damage to the building and claimed no lives, their effect was felt worldwide. The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world, and is followed relentlessly by media around the world. It is this worldwide media platform that makes the games such an inviting target for terrorists.

Theories on who was responsible for the recent Athens bombing divide into two camps. The Greek government espouses the view that they were perpetrated by local left-wing and anarchist groups that oppose the games, seeing them as a capitalist entity. These same groups have reportedly protested at the arrival of massive numbers of Western security agents. …

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