CODE OF CONDUCT FOR USERS OF THE “PAOLO MAZZA” STADIUM AND FOR SPAL SUPPORTERS
In compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding of 4 August 2017 between the Minister for the Interior, the Chair of the Board, the Minister for Sport, CONI, FIGC, national leagues and soccer player, trainer, and referee associations, as well as what is set forth in art. 12(10) of the FIGC Code of Sports Justice, this is published for consultation on the website: www.spalferrara.it in the “Tickets” area in the “Ticket Sales” and “2022/23 season pass” sections.
THE SOCIETA’ POLISPORTIVA ARS ET LABOR, hereinafter SPAL, has drawn up and adopted this “Code of Conduct” and these regulations for the sale of access passes to soccer events addressed to its fans belonging to the SPAL CARD programme and to all those who wish to attend team matches at the Paolo Mazza Stadium in Ferrara or at any other sports facility.
The Code of Conduct, which supplements what is set forth by the Paolo Mazza stadium Code of Use, is addressed to all those fans of the SPAL club and all those who attend sports events of this club, hereby including opponent fans (indicated, as a whole, by the term “Recipients”), with whom we wish to share the ethical and behavioural principles indicated below, as well as the measures and initiatives to be taken in relation to whoever should behave in a way that breaches said principles or, in any case, in a way that harms the image or reputation of SPAL and/or of the soccer world in general.
All the Recipients must comply with the Code of Conduct and the Regulations of Use since they constitute an integral and substantive part of the contractual regulations that are concluded between the Club and whoever acquires any pass (ticket or season pass) that validates their attendance at events. The purchase of the pass that enables attendance at the match, or even just access to the facility where this is held, constitutes acceptance of what is set forth by the Code of Conduct and by the Regulations of Use in force at that time, hereby including the sanctions established for breach of the principles, conduct, and commitments indicated and stipulated.
The goal of the SPAL club is to ethically share and promote sport, reconciling the professional and economic dimension of soccer with its ethical and social value. This Code outlines the general expectations of the Club in relation to its fans with the hope that those fans make themselves spokespeople for the values set forth below. For the purposes of the effective, appropriate, and full knowledge of the Code of Conduct and of the stadium Regulations of Use, they are also advertised and publicised via:
- posting in all the authorised sales points (which can be consulted on the website www.spalferrara.it);
- posting inside the stadium;
- their publication on the website of the sports club (www.spalferrara.it);
- activities for this purpose promoted by the Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) of the club.
The breach, even of just one rule of conduct and, more generally, of the principles outlined in this Code, like the breach of the stadium Regulations of Use, may constitute legitimate grounds for the termination of the club-recipient relationship and, depending on its seriousness, just cause for excluding the recipient from attending matches that are held subsequently to that when the breach occurred as a spectator.
The same consequences are stipulated in the event of a breach of the state regulations aimed at protecting and ensuring the integrity of sports events (so-called DASPO).
Art. 1 General Principles.
This Code sets forth the rules of conduct that must be complied with to ensure respect of the principles of honesty, fairness, and integrity in sports competitions, as well as to prevent the perpetration of improper or unlawful acts, or those constituting an offence, including in compliance with what is set forth by arts. 6 of Legislative Decree 231/2001 and 7(5) of the statute of the FIGC and of the FIGC Circular of 08/05/2018.
Art. 2 Social Commitment and Project Sharing
The SPAL club, aware of the importance of soccer and its values - such as socialisation, getting together, respect for others, social integration, recognition of merit, including in accepting one’s opponent’s value - in developing social relations and in the educational development of children who play a sport, encourages its fans to promote initiatives and conduct aimed at involving the enthusiasts of this competition, with a special focus on families and young people, in the sports event with the aim of engaging them in a moment of leisure and participation, which is enjoyable and entertaining.
The club undertakes, therefore, to create a constructive relationship with its supporters and with all those who attend the club’s sports events - at the Paolo Mazza Stadium or at any other sports facility or, again, during events other than matches - and to promote, including through their suggestions, loyal and responsible fans, both during sports meets and the other social activities aimed at supporting the team, including to promote the social dimension of soccer.
In sharing the general principles outlined above, the SPAL club fans, in supporting the team, like all those who attend the sports events, undertake to maintain a loyal, fair play, and moderate attitude that is respectful of the opponent and anyone else, rejecting any form of violence, including verbal, and any denigration of third parties, as well as respecting the polite rules of conduct marked by fair play with reference to every event that concerns the club.
They undertake, in addition, to comply with the stadium Regulations of Use that are in force in the relevant season, to respect the figure of the steward present in the sports facility, the club representatives, and all the players.
They also undertake to know and comply with the regulations of use of the facilities where the Club travels, including those of other cities, aware that the rules contained in them have been included to manage the safety of sports events organised there.
The right to show disappointment for the team’s negative results is exercised in a polite and constructive way, including through dance routines and/or initiatives that are constructive and encourage the reversal of the team’s negative fortunes. The right to exercise one’s thought via applause or criticisms, including through the use of social media that directly or indirectly concern the Club, must not be exercised by hiding behind shell or fake identities, and must produce fair debate that is respectful of roles.
They undertake not to use intimidation, coercion, insults, provocation, or to carry out any aggressive or offensive act, in relation to other people (including other spectators, referees, players, stewards, workers, or service staff).
They undertake to interact with the SLO (Supporter Liaison Officer) of the club, whose task is to ensure communication between soccer clubs and fans, in order to improve relations between them.
Art. 3 Recipients of the Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct is binding for all those who are indicated as Recipients in the introduction; i.e. all those fans belonging to the SPAL CARD programme, to whom the fidelity card will be delivered, which will also have commercial and promotional content, as well as those who attend the SPAL club’s sports events, hereby including opponent fans, having purchased a ticket to access the soccer event and/or received for any reason a ticket, including a complimentary one, for attending the sports event. The conduct of its supporters and other recipients that breaches the principles and rules stipulated in the Code creates, in addition, serious harm to the image and reputation of the club and, including for this reason, may entail limitations on attending one or more sports event by the responsible party.
Art. 4 Code of Conduct and Suspension of Enjoyment
In the event of improper or delinquent behaviour that is contrary to fair play, as well as behaviour that denigrates opponents and/or breaches the principles indicated above (arts.1 and 2) and/or the “Paolo Mazza” stadium Regulations of Use, since they entail a failure to fulfil the agreement stipulated by the Recipient with the sports club, SPAL reserves the right to suspend enjoyment by preventing access to the sports facility. The remedies set forth for breaches of this Code are calibrated according to the conduct assumed by the fan or by another recipient breaching the principles outlined above, with the aim of protecting the sport’s values of fairness and healthy competition, as well as the image and prestige of the Club, which, to this end, will assess:
- the nature, kind, means, time, place and any other method of the action;
- the seriousness of the damage or of the danger the damage caused;
- previous breaches;
- any remedial behaviour taken by the transgressor after the events.
KEY: • OPTIONAL SANCTION • MINIMUM SANCTION • MAXIMUM SANCTION BREACHES SPORTS SEASON 2017/2018 EVENT EXPULSION WRITTEN WARNING SUSPENSION / REFUSAL TO DEAL 1 MATCH SUSPENSION / REFUSAL TO DEAL 3 MATCH SUSPENSION / REFUSAL TO DEAL 6 MATCH SUSPENSION / REFUSAL TO DEAL 1 YEAR SUSPENSION / REFUSAL TO DEAL 3 YEAR WITHDRAWAL Ticket scalping (sale, purchase, and use) of tickets that breach the rules. • • • Distortion or alteration of identity. • • • Avoidance of security controls or people designed to prevent the introduction of banned objects. • • • Accessing reserved or closed areas, or those to which one's pass does not permit access. • • • Occupation of a place not indicated in one’s access pass. Staying on one’s feet or straddling parapets or in shared spaces. • • • Bringing banned materials. • • • Bringing dangerous materials. • • • Bringing and/or using fireworks. • • • Bringing and using video cameras for professional purposes. • • • Violent, offensive, threatening, discriminatory behaviours, including those perpetrated on social media. • • • Damage to people or property, to the facility, annexes, stealing material from the sports club. • • • Bringing and/or exhibiting discriminatory material or banners or flags not authorised by the GOS. • • • Consumption of beverages that exceed the permitted alcohol content limit. Bringing bottles and/or glass objects. • • • • • • Throwing objects on the playing field and/or bleachers • • • Any other behaviour banned by the stadium regulations of use. • • • Any additional behaviour that constitutes an offence. • • • Any behaviour that may injure the image of the club hereby including the use of social media. • • • Promotion of legal action against the club • • • Violent conduct in relation to stewards, law enforcement, and the club. • • • Recording and/or broadcasting sounds, images, and/or descriptions of the stadium or of the match other than those permitted for private use. Disseminating, via the internet, radio, television, or other current and/or future communication means, sounds, images, descriptions, results, and/or statistics of the match as a whole or of one of its parts.
Art. 5 Determination of a Breach.
The club, in order to verify a behavioural breach and identify its author, may make use of any elements that serve to represent, clearly, transparently, and objectively, the occurrence of events. Elements that are definitely appropriate to protect the principles outlined above include:
- closed-circuit surveillance video cameras;
- the direct perception and subsequent reporting of working stewards and members of the SLO office to the Security Delegate and/or their deputy, who will need to draft a special report describing the event;
- POLICE / DIGOS [General Investigations and Special Operations Division] information;
- any other objective element.
Art. 6 Fan Consequences for Failure to Fulfil the Code of Conduct (hereinafter, in the text, also “sanctions”).
6.1) Expulsion from the event.
The expulsion of the fan or of another recipient from the stadium by a steward.
6.2) Written warning, other people in carrying out these activities;
In cases of light and excusable breaches, a written warning is given to the supporter and, in any case, the other recipient; the third written warning in the same sports season will entail exclusion from 1 (one) match.
6.3) Suspension of access to the sports facility for 3 (three)/6 (six) matches.
If the suspension does not exhaust its effects in the championship underway, the rest will be applied in the subsequent championship, including in sports competitions other than the Lega, European Cup, and National Cup soccer championships.
6.4) Suspension of access to the sports facility for 1 (one) year.
The suspension is understood to apply to all the matches played in the period of 1 year in all the sports competitions in which the club participates.
6.5) Suspension of access to the sports facility for 3 (three) years.
The suspension is understood to apply to all the matches played in the period of 3 years in all the sports competitions in which the club participates.
6.6) Withdrawal of the access pass and refusal to deal in order to issue new passes.
The withdrawal of the access pass to the event, like the refusal to deal in order to issue new passes - which cannot last less than 3 (three) years and more than 8 (eight) years - may be cancelled or amended if, including due to the provisions issued by the legal authority, the conditions that justified the application thereof have disappeared or changed. The withdrawal and refusal to deal concern the solar year and not the sports season. The prohibition on attending is also understood to apply to matches other than the Lega soccer championship.
Art. 7 Imposition of the Sanction.
All the sanctions will be communicated in writing by the sports club, within 30 (thirty) days from being informed of the event and/or identification of the author, and communicated by the SLO of the SPAL club to the transgressor by means of registered mail with return receipt to the residential address provided by this person during registration and issuing of the access pass and/or during identification.
In the communication with which the sanction is imposed, it will be the duty of the club to indicate the possibility for the sanctioned party to ask for a review of the sanction in the ways and with the time frames stipulated in this Code. The warning and the decision to suspend and/or withdraw must contain, at the risk of being inadmissible, the description, in a clear and precise form, of the event, as well as the summary of means of proof; the warning will take immediate effect, while the decision to suspend and/or withdraw will take effect starting from the first event subsequent to notifying the party concerned.
The user who is sanctioned with exclusion from the event, suspension and/or withdrawal of access to the sports facility will not have the right to be reimbursed for the price of the ticket and/or season pass; in addition, this party will lose any concessional terms associated with the SPAL CARD project.
Art. 8 Access to Records.
Within 7 (seven) days of the notification of the decision, the transgressor will be able to request to see the records and receive a copy thereof at their own expense. The access request may be sent via registered mail with return receipt to the club headquarters or to the club’s PEC address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Art. 9 Review of the Sanctions.
If sanctioned, the transgressor may ask for a review of the sanction by submitting a written note, with a possible request for a hearing, to be forwarded via registered mail with return receipt to the club headquarters or to the PEC address of the club (email@example.com), within 15 (fifteen) days of the ruling notification. In the note, the user must indicate the reasons for the conduct being contested and prove any errors in the club’s assessment.
The hearing for the sanctioned party, if requested, will take place at the club’s headquarters in the mandatory presence of the security delegate and the SLO and minutes will be drawn up in a summary form. The transgressor will have the right to be assisted by a person whom they trust. The Club must respond within 30 (thirty) days from receiving the request for review; without prejudice to the recognised rights of the sanctioned party according to current legislation, including that of appealing to the legal authority.
Art. 10 Final Provisions
The Club reserves the right to amend this Code at any time and with immediate effect, including for those who have already purchased access passes, as a result of legislative and/or administrative and/or Public Security provisions in general (the resolutions issued by the National Observatory on Sports Events).
Art. 11 Privacy
The SPAL club ensures the confidentiality of personal data that it possesses, with particular attention for sensitive data, in compliance with the current legislation (Legislative Decree No 196 of 30 June 2003 and subsequent amendments and EU Regulations).
The SPAL club informs fans and users in general, that the data and any resolutions taken regarding exclusions to enjoy the match will be communicated to the federal bodies so that these provide communication thereof, including only in extract form, to other clubs playing in the same championship.