The revised international health regulations offer a framework that can be used by host countries to organise public health activities for mass gatherings. From June 8, to July 1, 2012, Poland and Ukraine jointly hosted the Union of European Football Associations European Football Championship Finals (Euro 2012). More than 8 million people from around the world congregated to watch the games. Host countries and international public health agencies planned extensively to assess and build capacity in the host countries and to develop effective strategies for dissemination of public health messages. The effectiveness of public health services was maximised through rapid sharing of information between parties, early use of networks of experienced individuals, and the momentum of existing national health programmes. Organisers of future mass gatherings for sporting events should share best practice and their experiences through the WHO International Observer Program. Research about behaviour of large crowds is needed for crowd management and the evidence base translated into practice. A framework to measure and evaluate the legacy of Euro 2012 is needed based on the experiences and the medium-term and long-term benefits of the tournament.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the following individuals for their input and support for this paper: Przemyslaw Bilinski, Ute Enderlein, Jan Erisman, Marek Haber, Cornelis de Joncheere, Nicolas Isla, Izabela Kucharska, Wojciech Kutyla, Jas Mantero, Mark Nunn, Anna Piekkala, Cezary Rzemek, Edward Wlodarczyk, and Maryanna Zaichykova. In addition, we thank the valuable support provided by Poland and Ukraine through their national authorities, and from UEFA. AZ receives support from the European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership TB NEAT and PANACEA grants; European Commission Framework-7 RiD-RTI grant; and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University College London Hospitals, London, UK.