Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, unites millions of fans in passionate support of their teams. From the electrifying atmosphere of the stadium to the bustling fan zones, the love for the beautiful game knows no bounds.
Yet, ensuring the safety of fans and players has become an ever-increasing concern in today’s world.
To address these challenges, next-generation security systems are rapidly reshaping the safety landscape at soccer events, creating a seamless blend of technology and tradition.
Simon Strobel is the CEO of ESRA, a company specializing in security and surveillance technology, communication technology, and alarm systems.
He is part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup delegation aiming to implement security measures at all 16 venues being used in the tournament: “I love to protect people and facilities. Looking behind the scenes on how things can be protected better for this tournament has allowed me to get an insight into how an event of this magnitude has to be managed from a security perspective.”
The 23rd edition of the competition is the most ambitious yet, taking in locations across Canada, Mexico, and the USA.
Strobel adds the sheer scale of the upcoming tournament will mean even more attention needs to be paid to safety: “Soccer, as the world’s most beloved sport, brings people together across the nations. With so many countries and cultures involved in the 2026 tournament, we need to ensure fans can confidently enjoy the game they love, knowing that their safety is a top priority.”
Strobel is also the co-founder of Frogfish, which specializes in importing and exporting security and surveillance systems, bridging the gap between Europe and North America.
He adds as soccer events draw larger crowds, the need for enhanced security measures has become imperative: “Sporting venues have become high-profile targets for various security threats, ranging from hooliganism to terrorist attacks.
“Therefore, it is vital we embrace cutting-edge technology to fortify security, protect fans, and preserve the joy of the game.”
Here Strobel discusses key areas where technology is being used to guarantee the highest levels of security and safety for fans and players.
The Stadium Security Revolution
Traditional stadium security, relying on manual checks and security personnel, is evolving rapidly. Modern stadiums are now equipped with advanced surveillance systems that include facial recognition, biometrics, and AI-driven analytics. These systems can identify and track individuals of interest, enhance crowd management, and quickly respond to potential security breaches.
These technologies improve security and enhance the overall fan experience by reducing wait times and congestion at entry points.
AI-Powered Threat Detection
Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a crucial role in identifying potential security threats. AI-driven algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data in real time, flagging suspicious activities or objects. Several European clubs have recently adopted AI-based security systems to scan crowds for prohibited items and detect unruly behavior.
Fan Zone Safety Redefined
Fan zones, the vibrant hubs of excitement outside stadiums, are integral to soccer culture. These open-air gatherings unite fans to celebrate, watch matches on large screens, and enjoy entertainment.
Yet, fan zones are not immune to security concerns. Fortunately, modern technology is now extending its reach to these outdoor spaces.
These systems detect unusual activities by analyzing vibrations and acoustics along the perimeter, alerting security personnel to potential breaches. This innovative approach enhances security and preserves the festive atmosphere of fan zones.
The Role of Drones and Robots
Drones and robots have become valuable assets in enhancing security at soccer events. Drones with high-resolution cameras provide real-time aerial surveillance, monitoring crowds and identifying potential security threats. Similarly, robots equipped with sensors and AI algorithms can patrol stadiums, fan zones, and parking areas, providing an additional layer of security. However, private drones can also be part of the threat. This is when it is necessary to use drone-detection systems.
Crowd Monitoring and Predictive Analytics
Soccer events usually draw passionate crowds, so managing them effectively is crucial. Based on data from surveillance cameras and sensors, predictive analytics can help authorities predict crowd movements, identify overcrowded areas, and prevent stampedes.
Enhanced Communication Networks
Robust and reliable communication networks are the backbone of security systems at soccer events. Modern stadiums and fan zones have advanced communication infrastructure, including 5G networks, which enable real-time data transmission and support deploying IoT devices and smart cameras.
Integrating 5G technology ensures that security personnel can access critical information and coordinate responses quickly. It also facilitates the implementation of connected devices, such as wearable security badges for staff and first responders, enabling them to react swiftly in emergencies.
As technology continues to evolve, the beautiful game will continue to unite us all. Next-gen security systems will be there to safeguard it, ensuring that stadiums and fan zones remain vibrant centers of celebration and joy. In this synergy between tradition and innovation, the future of soccer security is brighter than ever.
About Simon Strobel
Simon Strobel is a distinguished security expert with a degree in Business Economics. As the eldest among five siblings, he developed a strong sense of responsibility, shaping his journey into the security industry.
His father founded a security company after the reunification of Germany, and it was where his interest started. business-related started.
Strobel initially started work on construction sites, installing fire detection and alarm systems when he was 12 years old. By 2012, he had secured the title of Specialist in Intrusion Alarm and Fire Detection Systems.
He proudly serves as the CEO of ESRA, a leading ISO 9001-certified firm in security and surveillance. With a dedicated team of over 30, ESRA is recognized for its precision and quality, offering solutions from fire alarms to access control systems and has German police approval.
Strobel’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his co-founding ventures: Frogfish, a European Surveillance Camera and Satellite Phone distributor based in Missouri, and Farosense AG in Switzerland, which innovates in healthcare technology.
Accredited with top certifications from the renowned VdS institution, Strobel’s expertise is acknowledged widely in Germany. He’s an esteemed member of the German Association of Security Systems Companies (BHE) and the German Association Security in Industry and Commerce (ASW).
Above all, Strobel is passionate about nurturing the next generation of professionals. His commitment to mentoring reflects his belief in investing in the future, emphasizing the value of imparting knowledge and experience.