Managing the World Cup, a featured interview with Jurgen Rollman

This new section of the blog asks questions to those who know the game very well and could be of inspiration to many of us out there struggling to get to the top.
We decided to start in great style.

We asked few questions to Jurgen Rollman organizer of the 2006 Soccer World Cup

1) How important is security for an event such as the World Cup? Did you take any innovative measure to ensure safety?
Rollmann: Security is important in every situation in our life. No fun can arise without security, nothing would work without security. To ensure security during the world cup in germany we made a ,,National security strategy” chaired by the Ministry of interior, which includes all our national security-structures and the experience of our international partners. It was an extremely detailed job done in close co-operation with the German Football Association (DFB) and its Organizing Committee. A great success was the integration of international policemen in their home-uniforms in germany. These policemen gave their own fans with their presence alone a good feeling of security – and they celebrated the event together. In germany we have the common saying: Die Polizei, Dein Freund und Helfer (The police – your friend and assistance). These images have been transported perfectly in reality during the world cup – and these details from the ,,National security strategie” will be copied and repeated by the organizers of the Euro 2008 in Austria/Switzerland.
2) Thousands of people mean a lot of pressure. Would you share your secret to stay calm in delicate moments?

Rollmann: During the four weeks we have had only little delicate moments. I think, there was no secret in keeping everything calm, it was just the professional work of the security-experts after a long period of preparation. And some lucky circumstances like the brilliant summer-weather. The crowd wanted to celebrate and with the public viewing-areas, in this dimension for the first time in the history of the world cup, we had a wonderful thing to cool them down.
3) The 2006 World Cup has been a great organizational success. What event management aspect has been crucial in order to deliver such results?

Rollmann: Crucial was the good communication between the important stakeholders: Host Cities, Federal government, Government of the provinces, German football Association and FIFA. We experienced a great motivation at all levels in the preparation period to make the world cup into a big success for germany. And we had Franz Beckenbauer, the ,Kaiser’, a man with an enormous charisma. He was the perfect leader in the whole process.
4) There is a lot at stake when such an event takes place. Who would you reckon has been the most crucial stakeholder for success?
Rollmann: Please look to my answer in question 3.
5) For those approaching sports event management, would you share three qualities to become successful.
Rollmann: 1) Communication – and a little bit of luck. 2) Communication – and a little bit of luck. 3) Communication – and a little bit of luck.
6) Have you implemented any practice to minimize the environmental impact of operations?

Rollmann: Yes. For the first time ever in world cup history, quantifiable environmental goals were agreed for the world cup in Germany and implemented in the Green Goal project for the fields of energy, water, waste and mobility. It was also possible to improve general environmental management competence in the stadiums. Munich and Nuremberg are the first stadiums in Europe to be accredited under the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). One of the most important goals was climate neutrality. For the first time ever it was possible to compensate for the unavoidable 10 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in Germany caused by the world cup through Gold Standard projects in India and South Africa. The € 1,2 million invested in climate protection projects was financed by the Organizing Committee, FIFA and sponsors.

About The Author
Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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