With only one day left until the 2024 opening rounds of the Allsvenskan and Superettan, much focus is on order disturbances when everything should instead be about anticipation, joy, singing, dancing, and most importantly – football.

Many of us eagerly await the start of the world’s most beautiful leagues, which may be the biggest sign of spring we have in Sweden. Swedish elite football holds a special place in many people’s hearts, and with each passing year, our leagues grow both in terms of sporting quality and audience. Over half of Sweden’s population is engaged, moved, and affected by Allsvenskan and Superettan – football is a popular movement.

The drama, the clubs’ hard work, the local connections, the traditions, the full stands, the attendance records, and the enormous passion surrounding our leagues are aspects that make Swedish elite football unique in European football. It’s something we’re proud of and something we all work to protect and preserve.

The stands are a special place. A reflection of society where people of different ages, from different social classes, with different backgrounds and cultures, come together side by side. Here, there’s a unique mix of children, youth, families, middle-aged and elderly men and women. An interaction that evokes passion, songs, chants, and love for their teams. This is largely what makes Allsvenskan and Superettan what they are. This is something we are incredibly proud of, and something we know contributes to building the leagues both in terms of sport and interest.

But there are also things we need to work on as society has changed after the pandemic, which is evident even in football stadiums across Europe. Everyone agrees that the number of order disturbances and serious breaches escalated during the 2023 season. Although this only concerns a few of the 480 matches played throughout the year, and a relatively small number of individuals compared to all those who visit the stadiums, we are dealing with behaviors that need to change in 2024. We believe in dialogue, understanding, collaboration, and that all parties involved in football work together to advance Swedish football in all aspects.

To achieve the goal of making the 2024 season one to remember in a positive light, we will still need the help and responsibility of all stakeholders. We need all stakeholders around Swedish elite football to examine themselves so that at the end of the year, we can look back on a season with full stands, drama, and all the other things that are part of Swedish elite football.

Football and its collaborative actors will do everything possible to make the 2024 season as successful and memorable as possible. This year, we all want to dignify and celebrate the fact that Allsvenskan is celebrating 100 years.

Many of us care about and live with our teams and leagues. Let’s not forget that our goal with Swedish elite football is the same, namely that Allsvenskan and Superettan should be and remain the fantastic leagues they have been since 1924 and 2000, respectively. Let’s together make the 2024 season something truly special.

Johan Lindvall, Secretary-General, Swedish Professional Football Leagues (SEF)
Isak Edén, Chairman, Swedish Football Supporters Union (SFSU)