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Altogether 400 specially trained police personnel would be deployed as stewards at the Salt Lake Stadium during all the 10 FIFA Under-17 World Cup matches to be played here. The FIFA website describes a steward as a person employed, hired, contracted or volunteering at the stadium to assist in the management of safety and security of spectators, VIPs, players, officials and any other person at the stadium. A senior officer of the state home department said, 400 police personnel, including 120 women, were selected for the job from various forces and five commissionerates in West Bengal. "FIFA had given us a guideline for choosing personnel for stewardship. They wanted agile, fit people for the purpose and we have chosen officers from our commissionerates and forces as per their recommendations," he said. They were sent for formal training in New Delhi, the IAS officer told PTI. "A steward's principal job will be crowd monitoring at various points, turnstiles, activity areas, perimeter gates, escalators or stairways and restricted zones as per the FIFA zoning plans. "Besides, they would check any anti-racial comments from the spectators," the officer said. He said in case of a racial abuse, first a warning would be issued and if the offence is repeated, the accused would be dealt with sternly. Some stewards will face the crowd to keep an eye on them during the matches, he said. "They will be given specific responsibilities. There will be around 30 stewards in the 13 blocks of the Salt Lake Stadium.
They will also be present in plain clothes among the spectators," he said. In case of an emergency-like situation, the stewards will help the spectators evacuate within eight minutes. Around 260 CCTVs have been installed at the Salt Lake Stadium to keep tabs on spectators. There would be 110 check posts at the entry gates of the stadium. The Salt Lake Stadium will host eight matches on October 8, 11, 14, 17 and 22. The match for the third place and the final would also be played on October 28.
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