SD Europe is delighted to announce that preparations for our new Erasmus+ project have kicked off and will bring together supporters, football associations, leagues and other stakeholders for the first time in Prague next month.
LIAISE stands for Liaison-based Integrated Approach to Improving Supporter Engagement and will further improve the positive impact of supporter liaison officers (SLOs) in partner countries and beyond.
Football associations and leagues will work alongside supporter organisations, other relevant football authorities from across Europe and Uefa to highlight the value of enhanced dialogue and communication between all parties in tackling the threat to the integrity of sport posed by spectator violence.
The supporter liaison officer (SLO) role, in particular, has unique potential in this regard by acting as a conduit or focal point for increased dialogue and more open communication with all invested stakeholders.
Following in the footsteps of two previous EU-funded projects on Good Governance in sport, LIAISE’s approach is one of collaboration, learning exchange and identification of best practice between 10 partners from eight different countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.
The project’s Launch meeting will be followed by a three-day workshop on supporter liaison in Sweden in April, with further workshops planned around an integrated safety, security and service approach at football matches in November as well as an event dedicated to supporter engagement in early 2019.
The workshops will be supplemented by a series of learning exchange visits between partners, all of which will inform tailored action plans around the development of the SLO role for each of the countries involved.
An SLO-specific annex is also planned for the EU Handbook on Police Liaison with Supporters, with research and evaluation work continuing throughout the two-year timeframe. A variety of new and improved resources for SLOs and SLO coordinators will also be created and shared throughout the project.
“We’re really excited to be starting with LIAISE, the aim of which is to raise standards when it comes to professional dialogue and communication between club SLOs – and by extension supporters – and the football and public authorities,” said project coordinator and Head of SLO Implementation Stuart Dykes. “LIAISE will seek to develop a collaborative partnership of national football bodies and supporter organisations not only in the project partner countries, but also throughout the wider SD Europe network and beyond.”
The partners and contributing organisations involved with LIAISE are:
National football bodies
Български Футболен Съюз (BFU)/Bulgarian Football Union (Bulgaria)
Ligová fotbalová asociace (LFA)/Czech Football League (Czech Republic)
Fédération Française de Football (FFF)/French Football Federation (France)
Football Association of Ireland (FAI) / (Ireland)
Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej (PZPN)/Polish Football Association (Poland)
Federação Portuguesa de Futebol (FPF) / Portuguese Football Federation (Portugal)
Svensk Elitfotboll (SEF)/Swedish Football League (Sweden)
National supporter organisations
Pan-European supporter organisations
Football Supporters Europe e.V. (FSE) (Germany)
SD Europe has facilitated the implementation of the supporter liaison officer (SLO) licensing requirement (Article 35) on behalf of Uefa since 2010, and additional information and resources are available on SLO (link).