On April 15-17, members of the LIAISE project gathered in Stockholm for international exchange of experience. The days included workshops where the various countries presented and discussed their work with the SLO role, as well as visits to two Swedish Allsvenskan games: AIK-Djurgården and Hammarby-Brommapojkarna.
”We are pleased to present our football and our clubs valuable work with the SLO function,” says Kaveh Sarvari, Event Development Manager and SLO coordinator at Swedish Elite Football.
The first day of the conference the participants arrived to Solna to attend the Stockholm derby between AIK Solna and Djurgården. After the game, the participants got a chance to talk with the SLOs and security officers in both clubs to hear how the work progressed during the day. In the evening a dinner was held at Quality Hotel Friends in Solna.
On Monday, the conference started on with a focus on the Swedish work with the SLO function. Stuart Dykes, chairman of Supporters Direct Europe, started with a introduction to the LIAISE project. Then, the CEO of Swedish Elite Football Mats Enquist spoke about how the SLO´s play a key role in Swedish Allsvenskan and Superettan games.
”The football truly is a family, and in a family everyone has to talk to each other. In the dialogue, a SLO is someone that can relate directly to the supporter groups”, says Mats Enquist.
The SLO work in different countries
The day continued with the SLO of Djurgården Lena Gustafson Wiberg spoke about how the SLO role has developed in Sweden. Afterwards there was a panel with SLO´s and security personnel from several Swedish clubs informed about their daily work. Among other things, it was discussed how several Swedish SLO´s also work with children and adolescents. A proof that the SLO’s work should not only be aimed at already active and established supporters.
In the afternoon, the participants listened to Benjamin Kandler from Bundesliga and Dariusz Lapinski from the Polish Football Association, who informed about their positions in the SLO process; Germany has a lot of experience regarding the SLO work, while Poland is in the starting pits. Then participants were also told about the development of the SLO role in Portugal from Jorge Silverio and in the Czech Republic from Tomáš Čarnogurský.
In the evening the participants attended the Allsvenskan game between Hammarby and Brommapojkarna, where several of the participants studied Hammarby’s SLOs and security personnel during the match.
Swedish police work
At the last day of the workshop, the SLO´s, the SLO coordinators and supporter organizations had to settle down with their colleagues for a workshop regarding how they value the SLO function and how the SLO work could be more known to common people. A topic that Swedish Elite Football considers important.
”For our part, it has been helpful to sit down and discuss how we measure the value of the SLO role. We are convinced that the SLO role is an important tool to contribute to welcoming, safe, secure and atmospheric events. We also want to find concrete ways to prove the value of our environment, ”says Kaveh Sarvari.
The conference’s last lectures were held by the Event Police from Stockholm and a representative from the MTR train company – they talked about their work on dialogue on and around match days. In total, the conference in Stockholm was appreciated by the participants and by the Swedish Elite Football who got a chance to highlight Swedish football and the way of working with the league.
”We have had three really good days together with our colleagues and guests from all over Europe. There has been a lot of information exchange and we have had the privilege of visiting two awesome football matches where we proudly showed how some of our clubs in Sweden works”.