At the end of March, SD Europe took part in a workshop in Portugal at the Cidade do Futebol in Caxias, Lisbon, hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF). The workshop focused on the role of the supporter liaison officer (SLO) and the disability access officer (DAO). The workshop was organised by the FPF as part of the training activities related to UEFA club licensing.
The opening remarks were made by Paulo Lourenço, Secretary General of the FPF, and responsible for the coordination of the licensing body (OGL). He was followed by Jorge Silvério, the SLO coordinator of the FPF. He spoke about making a framework for the SLO (OLA, Oficiais de Ligação a Adeptos) and DAO (RAD, Responsável Acessibilidade para Deficientes) in Portugal. Later, Damásio Teixeira (RAD, FC Porto) and Stuart Dykes (Head of SLO Development, SD Europe), spoke about the current status of the DAO in Portugal and the latest developments at the European institutional level as far as the SLO role is concerned respectively.
Commenting on the weekend, Stuart Dykes emphasized training as a means for success: “As the demands placed on SLOs increase, for example as a result of the new Council of Europe Convention, it is important that they have the tools to do the job in the form of training. We are working with the FPF to develop improved training offerings for Portuguese SLOs in the future.”
Stuart Dykes about #SLO and @SDEurope07 work with @UEFA More: https://t.co/EzV8GAudQu pic.twitter.com/5wat4PNmVz — SLO news (@SuppLiaison) 28 marzo 2019
The second part of the session began with Lena Gustafson Wiberg, SLO Development Officer at SD Europe, who talked about how the SLO role is interpreted in Sweden, and in particular at her own club, Djurgårdens IF:
#SLO in Sweden with @lenagw @SDEurope07 pic.twitter.com/n6uhVWLIWz — SLO news (@SuppLiaison) 28 marzo 2019
“Having the opportunity to exchange experiences and stories with different countries is incredibly important in developing the role of SLO’s. Going through similar challenges in different cultures and environments give great motivation to take the function forward.”
The final presentation was given by Marco Abreu, FPF Security Officer, who addressed the theme “The scope of action of OLA’s (SLO) in Portugal”.
Today we are in Lisbon with @cafefootball attending an interesting meeting about the Supporter Liaison Officer (#SLO) and the Disablility Access Officer (#DAO) hosted by the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol(@selecaoportugal) More: https://t.co/tT3XzRaLvu pic.twitter.com/8oRh9c8TAj — SD Europe (@SDEurope07) 28 marzo 2019
The topic of hospitality and security has also been of major concern to some of the main powers of world football. Jorge Silvério highlighted the importance of this workshop:
“We want to be prepared for the future. Increasingly, there is this preoccupation with the fans, with the question of hospitality. We have recently had the Council of Europe Convention that was approved, which adds another pillar to the question of security, the pillar of hospitality, that makes fans feel more at home when they go to football matches. This is another step in our path. This is already the sixth season in which SLOs are in place, and this is another moment of evaluation and preparation for the future.”
“Similarly to this is an Erasmus+ project, also funded by UEFA, FPF partnered with SD Europe on “LIAISE“, with the goal of continuing to develop football as a whole.