On May 24th, this year’s Europa League final was played in Stockholm between AFC Ajax and Manchester United.
In total six SLOs from the three Stockholm clubs (AIK, Djurgården and Hammarby) were on duty in order to advise colleagues from the two finalists as well as visiting fans. The focus for the SLO support team was on service, logistics and providing local knowledge.
“This was the first time a team of local SLOs was deployed at a major European final. It is to be hoped that the exercise can be repeated at future finals and we will be making a recommendation to UEFA to this effect based on the lessons learned from Stockholm,” said Stuart Dykes, SLO coordinator at SD Europe.
Local SLOs took part in the site visits that both teams made prior to the final in order to share knowledge and expertise. On match day itself, they were present in both fan zones in the city centre and joined supporters from both teams on subway and commuter trains to the stadium.
Jakob Uddeholt, head SLO at Hammarby IF, commented: “We were given the opportunity to follow and assist Henk, the SLO of Ajax, in his work with their supporters. We are happy that both the Swedish Football Association and UEFA saw the positives of having SLOs from Stockholm present. Hopefully, it will be a standard for future finals in Europe when there is an opportunity.”