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Dec 17, 2019

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LIAISE Close Meeting In Paris & The 12th and Final Exchange Visit

LIAISE: Project Close Meeting in Paris & Final Exchange Visit

In December 2019, the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) hosted the LIAISE project close meeting at its headquarters in Paris, followed by the 12th and final LIAISE exchange visit to the Ligue 1 fixture, Amiens vs Dijon. LIAISE is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme and UEFA.

Representatives from the French Football Federation, Bulgarian Football Union, Czech Football League, French Football League, Polish Football Association, Portuguese Football Federation, Swedish Football League and Football Supporters Europe were all present for the close meeting.

The objective of the close meeting was to bookend the last 2 years’ of the project by highlighting the progress that had been made and the foundations laid to continue the development of the SLO role for the participating partners.

SD Europe’s Stuart Dykes led the meeting in which the original project goals were retraced along with activities, workshops and exchanges that had taken throughout the project.

Partners were then invited to reflect on and share the outcomes, lessons learnt and plans to go forward following the completion of LIAISE, in addition to discussing the key areas for progression. Each partner also had the opportunity to discuss its action plan to continue to work on improving the implementation of the SLO role.

‘it’s been a major turning point’ – LFP’s SLO Coordinator, Maël Garde Provansal talks about the LIAISE project.

The meeting closed following a summary of the steps to be taken to solidify the work of LIAISE. This includes an individual and tailored action plan for each country to use to launch discussion among stakeholders on how to develop SLO practices, working towards an Amendment to the EU Council Resolution on Police Liaison with Supporters, a public report encapsulating the success of LIAISE and an information bank on the SD Europe website for project partners to rely on in the future.

 

Following the LIAISE close meeting, the 12th and final LIAISE exchange visit took place involving the LFP and the Portugese Football Federation during a fixture between Ligue 1 teams Amiens and Dijon at the Stade De La Licorne.

The project partners met with the Amiens SC SLO and were shown the certified safe standing in both the home and away sections of the stadium. During the visit, attendees were also shown the control room and met Amiens SC’s safety personnel. 

 

The LIAISE project partners were also given the opportunity to speak to the leaders of Amiens SC ultras who are working to create a better atmosphere in the stadium. The ultras spoke about how the SLO has significantly strengthened relations between them and football club.

 

During the visit, the carefully managed process of allowing in and the exit of away fans was observed. Instrumentally, Amiens SC have a ‘Police Liaison Officer’ (PLO). The PLO talked to the project partners about the benefits of their approach to interacting with fans and how the role aids in a seamless visit for away fans.

Both the closing meeting and exchange visit emphasised the mutual benefit for supporters, national associations and leagues brought about through the LIAISE project and the implementation of the SLO role.

SD Europe’s Stuart Dykes spoke about the completion of the LIAISE project ‘It was great to bring the project to a close, its been a fantastic two years in which we’ve held a lot of activities and we’ve learnt a lot, all the partners have taken a lot away from it. One of the main outputs of the project has been the action plans that are capable of big change and influencing the work in the six partner countries. The action plans will bring stakeholders together to discuss how to continue the SLO work in the future. We’re also very hopeful of an amendment to the EU handbook which would be a major game changer if it’s passed by the Council of Ministers. All in all, it’s been a really positive experience and has brought a lot of positive change for the partners. LIAISE has clearly demonstrated what can be achieved when supporters, national associations and leagues work together.’

LIAISE is a unique two-year collaborative partnership that brings together supporters (SD Europe, FSE, ANS, SFSU), football associations (Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal), football leagues (Czech Republic, France, Sweden) and stakeholders including UEFA and the European Think Tank of Football Safety and Security Experts for the first time. The project was evaluated by Substance. LIAISE kicked off in January 2018 and will run for two years until December 2019. 

Get in touch with the SD Europe team via our Contact Us page. Read all the latest news about LIAISE here. Follow SD Europe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates!

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