At the end of September and beginning of October, the SD Europe Supporter Liaison Officer team took part in two exchange visits in Sweden organised by the Svensk Elitfotboll under SD Europe’s supporter liaison and engagement project LIAISE, which is funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme and UEFA.
SD Europe, together with the delegations of Svenska Fotbollssupporterunionen, Svensk Elitfotboll, Federação Portuguesa de Futebol, and a group of the Czech Football League’s SLOs were guests at the IFK Norrköping stadium to attend the pre-match meeting in preparation for the match between IFK Norrköping and AFC Eskilstuna, and on the second day to attend a presentation about the SLO-work in Sweden.
After a tour with the local SLOs, the delegation had the opportunity to meet the Security Officer from IFK Norrköping. The attendees then joined the “Match Day Organisational Meeting” between the match delegates, security managers, SLOs, police, and event managers.
#SLO #LIAISE #fanliaison @SDEurope07 pic.twitter.com/TQ3xsiYCtG — SLO news (@SuppLiaison) September 26, 2019
After the stadium gates opened, attendees observed the arrival of fans and the work of the SLOs during the game. During the visit, the delegation had the opportunity to exchange views and insights with the club SLO’s. After the game, the visiting group joined again the “Match Day Organisational Meeting” for a final review of the outcome carried out by the organization of the match.
The next day saw a presentation about the work of Swedish SLO’s matchday procedures, pre-match organisation meetings, security exchanges, and the arrival and admission of the away fans.
All participants highlighted the contribution of LIAISE in establishing or further developing dialogue between supporter groups, football, and public authorities. The various partners exchanged information and experiences in a very productive visit.
At the beginning of October, a delegation composed of Antonia Hagemann (SD Europe CEO), Alexis Bouchard (SLO FC Nantes), Christopher Lindahl (SLO IFK Göteborg), Bartosz Kadlubowski (SLO Jagiellonia Białystok), Dariusz Lapinski ( SLO Coordinator at PZPN), David Bohannan (External expert), Kaveh Sarvari (SLO coordinator at Swedish Football League), Maël Garde Provansal (SLO Coordinator at Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP)), Mathilde Mandelli and Pierre Barthélemy (Association Nationale des Supporters (ANS)), Peter Narbe (Security Officer at Malmö FF), Pierre Nordberg (SLO at Malmö FF), Ronan Evain (Football Supporters Europe CEO) and Sofia Bohlin (Swedish Football Supporter Union (SFSU)), met for two days for a closer look at local club organisation regarding SLO and safety in Malmö FF.
Similarly to the previous visit, Malmö FF’s club officials and SLOs led the delegation through the various stages of the match organisation by the Swedish club.
The delegation moved on to the pitch for an in-depth analysis of the matchday procedures. During the match, a total of 8 SLO’s were employed to follow the match between Malmö FF and IFK Göteborg (4 with Malmö + 4 with IFK Göteborg).
The #LIAISE exchange visit at Malmö is underway. #Fanliaison @SDEurope07 @SFSU__ @SEF_Elitfotboll @A_N_Supporters Learn more about LIAISE: https://t.co/ORj2G8qvJs pic.twitter.com/cIHocPOQlI — SLO news (@SuppLiaison) October 6, 2019
On the second day, after a more detailed debrief meeting, attendees heard the presentation of the SLO ́s work at Malmö FF. The SLO’s presented about the club, the fans and the police.
Overall, both visits to Sweden were great days with new learnings regarding supporters, crowd management, and the importance of the SLO-role!
Commenting on the visit, SD Europe CEO “As the LIAISE project is coming near its end, it is truly remarkable to see all the progress made. Through LIAISE, the SLO role and it’s ever-important presence within football has been recognised, studied, and strengthened. There is more work to do, and it is only the beginning!”
Lena Gustafson Wiberg, SD Europe’s head of SLO training and lead SLO at Swedish club Djurgårdens IF added: “It’s really good when we, as Sweden, can host and show the way we work, while getting direct feedback from those with other experiences and learnings. This is part of the role LIAISE has been an important project to the entire SLO role development.”