Earlier this year, the Finnish FA, together with Finnish police authorities, held their 17th annual Safety and Security seminar. The event was held for first time on the sea, cruising the Helsinki-Stockholm route and back. Juha Karjalainen, Security Officer at the FA, felt the facilities for the 180 participants were absolutely first class.
According to official participant feedback, the most interesting sessions were those from Kenny Scott, Uefa’s Safety and Security Adviser, as well as a two-hour session about the SLO function which was led by SD Europe’s Stuart Dykes and Swedish guest speakers Lena Gustafson Wiberg, head SLO, and Mats Jonsson, Security Officer, from Djurgårdens IF.
Ville Nylund, SLO coordinator, was really pleased with the contributions from the foreign SLO professionals. He said: “The whole SLO system is pretty young in Finnish football and therefore it was fantastic that we got lot of useful information and good examples of best practices for SLOs’ daily work here in Finland.”
Erik Forss, Head of travel and events at the Finnish National Team Supporters Association, also attended the seminar. He said: “For me, as an active supporter, these seminars and particularly the discussion around the SLO are very important. With Lena’s, Mats’ and Stuart’s presentation, all of us listeners had an equally fair chance to participate in the discussion. As the SLO field is fairly new in Finland, it is important that all the parts – the supporters, clubs, the FA and so on – are involved from the beginning so we can build and form the SLO role correctly. Lena, Mats and Stuart gave us plenty of useful tools for that.”
Speaking after the event, Stuart, SLO consultant at SD Europe, said: “The Football Association of Finland are to be commended for organising a seminar that covered a broad range of topics and placed the SLO role in the overall context of safety, security and service in Finnish and international football. This augurs well for the future and I look forward to continuing our fruitful working relationship.”
For more information about the Supporter Liaison Officer role, visit our SLO section.