Ministry of CultureSvenska
Government initiatives to reduce violence at sporting events
Following the death of a Djurgården Football Club supporter in connection with a match on Sunday 30 March, we have been receiving questions from members of the public. This is what the Government has done recently.
- Rose-Marie Frebran has been appointed as new national coordinator to strengthen the positive fan culture and combat sports-related crime.
- The Government has tightened up legislation banning individuals from attending sporting events, under penalty of the law. The attendance ban can now apply for up to three years. The legislative amendment has effect from 1 April this year.
- At the turn of the year, the obligation for organisers to pay the costs of police supervision at sporting events was removed.
- Amendments to the Public Camera Surveillance Act make it easier for stadium owners to detect and investigate crimes committed in their stadiums.
- An inquiry has proposed that the National Police Board keep a national register of individuals subject to attendance bans. The Government aims to present a legislative proposal on this later in the year.
- Inquiry Chair Sigurd Heuman has received instructions to study the possible design of a ban on masks at sporting events and to present concrete proposals for legislative amendments.
Sweden tops the EU exercise league
Swedes exercise more than anyone else in Europe. No less than 70 per cent state that they play sports or exercise at least once a week. The EU average is 41 per cent. These figures come from a new report from the EU public opinion institute Eurobarometer. However, in the unemployed category, seven out of ten respond that they rarely or never play sports or exercise.
"It's pleasing that so many Swedes play sports and exercise. Having said that, the fact that sports are not adequately reaching socio-economically disadvantaged groups is cause for concern. Even if Sweden is top of the class, we have to keep working towards the goal of sports for everyone," says Minister for Culture and Sport Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.
The Eurobarometer survey is based on interviews with 28 000 people from the 28 EU Member States.
Eurobarometer reveals wide differencesThe survey shows that northern Europeans exercise most and southern Europeans least. Nine per cent of Swedes state that they never play sports or exercise. The EU average is 42 per cent. Another difference concerns the extent of voluntary work in sports. In Sweden, one in four people over the age of 15 state that they engage in voluntary work. The average for the Member States is 7 per cent.
State support for sport
State support for sportThe Government has made children's and young people's sports and exercise one of its priority issues. The Boost for Sport has an annual budget of SEK 500 million and aims to develop children's and youth sport so that more girls and boys choose to engage in sports. Central government currently provides over SEK 1.7 billion in support to sports.
Round-table talks on a positive fan culture
Today, Minister for Culture and Sport Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth and National Coordinator Rose-Marie Frebran met representatives of Swedish football and ice hockey, Supporterunionen and the National Police Board in round-table talks on crime and violence in connection with sporting events. The talks were intended as a follow-up of last autumn's hearing on the subject.
"We have invited relevant actors to regular talks since 2007 and it's pleasing to note that violence in connection with sporting events has decreased since then. I believe that a success factor for achieving good results is that all parties meet in open talks and discussions," says Ms Adelsohn Liljeroth.
Positive dialogue looking ahead
"We're moving in the same direction and finding more and more solutions. The outlook has never been better than now. Relieving the organisers of police costs last autumn has radically improved the situation and paved the way for a completely new kind of dialogue," says Mats Enquist, representing the Swedish Elite Football Association.
"I'm planning for a conference on a positive fan culture on 7 May, in collaboration with Fryshuset," says Rose-Marie Frebran, whose task is to assist the Government in its efforts to strengthen the positive fan culture and work against crime in connection with sporting events.
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Counsellors for Cultural Affairs
The overall task of Swedens's Counsellors for Cultural Affairs posted abroad is to promote the role of culture in contacts with other countries and to encourage cultural dialogue. Cultural Affairs Counsellors are currently stationed at Sweden's embassies in Berlin, London, Istanbul, Moscow, Beijing and Washington, and at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the European Union in Brussels. There is also a combined post of Head of the Swedish Cultural Centre in Paris and Counsellor for Cultural Affairs at the Embassy in Paris.