The chairman of the Swedish Football Association, Fredrik Reinfeldt, sees shortcomings in the current system that Swedish football should use to prevent disturbances in stadiums. One of the major problems that Reinfeldt has pointed out is the fact that clubs, which can suspend individuals who have misbehaved through so-called event suspensions, do not have access to surveillance material from the stands.
Mike Sahlénius, head of security at IFK Göteborg, believes that the problem is that it is not the association that owns the surveillance system.
"We rent the arena from Got Event and they own the system. We have access to the system a few hours before, during and after the game, so we can check live or rewind during that time. After that, we have no right to continue working with the material, but then it is only the arena owner and the police in case of suspicion of crime, says Sahlénius.
"Legislation becomes the limitation"
Why do you have no rights afterwards?
– It has to do with GDPR and regulations around it. Often we (Swedish law) are very keen to protect the individual and that is good, but it goes against our goal. It protects those who commit illegal acts instead of other visitors.
Sahlénius' explanation is confirmed by Marcus Viberg, Head of Security at Got Event.
"The legislation becomes the limitation. We are not allowed to disclose the identity of individuals at our events. We want to change that legislation," he says.
However, Malmö FF, which owns its own stadium and thus also the surveillance system, has free access to the material. Security manager Peter Narbe believes that it is almost crucial to be able to implement event shutdowns.
"It is very difficult during the match to back the system and make a proper investigation of who is putting on and taking off the mask. Pyrotechnics or masking require more time and are completely impossible during matches, says Narbe.