In mid-March, Swedish elite football match delegates gathered for two days in Solna for a joint preseason conference ahead of the season’s start. The meeting was organized by the Swedish Professional Football Leagues.
“We conduct this type of kickoff every year to inform and discuss matters that the delegates need to know ahead of the new season,” says Per Eliasson, security and match delegate manager at Swedish Professional Football Leagues.

Match delegates, whose task is to monitor event and security issues related to matches, are present at all matches played in Allsvenskan and Superettan. Since 2020, Swedish Professional Football Leagues has had operational responsibility for the delegate activity.

This year’s meeting included information from elite referees about UEFA’s new directives regarding inappropriate behavior. Specifically, UEFA’s directives mean that players rushing towards or surrounding a referee to protest should be punished. The same applies if a player or coach makes derogatory gestures or repeatedly protests and criticizes the referee’s actions.

“It’s about enforcing the rulebook in a better way to create a good working environment on the field. The directives have already been implemented in major football countries and leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and Serie A, so they are not unique directives for us in Sweden,” explains Martin Ingvarsson, elite referee coach at the Swedish Football Association.

Furthermore, the program included information about the guidelines for match delegates in 2024, including those related to the match meeting in connection with temporarily interrupted matches. Additionally, the security situation at the arenas and the guidelines that were converted into directives in the special competition regulations (STB) for Allsvenskan and Superettan earlier this year were discussed.

Since match delegates within Swedish Professional Football Leagues also carry out assignments for Ettanfotboll and Women’s Elite Football (EFD), representatives from both these organizations were present to provide information about the status of their leagues ahead of the season. The meeting also included a lecture and subsequent discussion on media management and crisis communication related to the role and function of match delegates during matches.

“It was a good gathering with many discussions and knowledge exchange. We have an incredibly competent group of match delegates, which means we are well-prepared for the new season,” concludes Eliasson.

Allsvenskan and Superettan begin on Saturday, April 30th.