Establishing best practice around the supporter liaison officer (SLO) role will be the key objective of a three-day conference organised by SD Europe and Svensk Elitfotboll (SEF) from April 15 to 17.
LIAISE is a unique collaborative partnership that brings together supporters, football associations, football leagues, as well as stakeholders including Uefa and the EU Think Tank of Football Safety and Security Experts to drive the development of the SLO role over a two-year period. It is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and co-financed by Uefa.
Ten partners and contributing organisations from across Europe will join SD Europe and a number of additional stakeholders to discuss topics related to the first of three themes of the project: supporter liaison.
For further information on project partners and activities, visit LIAISE.
Taking in the Stockholm derby between AIK Solna v Djurgårdens IF on Sunday, April 15th, participants will begin to understand the positive influence and impact that experienced SLOs can have on busy match days, particularly a local derby in this instance.
The supporter liaison officer role has become an integral part of football clubs in Sweden in recent years and while there are always improvements to be made, it can be considered a best practice country in many respects.
Kicking off Day 2 therefore, participants will hear from Djurgårdens IF’s main SLO, Lena Gustafson Wiberg, about the key elements of Sweden’s SLO programme as well as representatives of SEF, clubs SLOs, safety officers and supporters courtesy of a panel discussion and Q&A session.
The second half of the day will then focus on best practice around the development of a national SLO strategy with input from relevant stakeholders in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Portugal. Day 2 will conclude with a second match observation exercise – this time at the Allsvenskan fixture between Hammarby IF v Brommapojkarna.
The third and final day of the conference will continue the examination of best practice. First, Dr. Adam Brown of Substance will outline ways in which the impact SLOs have and the significance of the role in general can be measured, demonstrating its contribution to tackling spectator violence in sport in the process.
Several national supporters organisations around Europe have been involving in the development of the role within their own respective countries, and some of these initiatives will be explored during a session involving L’Association nationale des supporters (ANS), SD Scotland, Svenska Fotbollssupporterunionen (SFSU), Supporters in Campo, and Football Supporters Europe (FSE).
To conclude, representatives of Stockholm’s event police will discuss how they view the supporter liaison officer (SLO) role, explaining how it can be of use from a policing point of view.
For further information on LIAISE, visit: sdeurope.eu/liaise or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the SLO role and resources available to help with its implementation here, or by emailing email@example.com.