Facts: This is how a new chairman is elected
At the association meeting on March 25, a new chairman will be elected in the Swedish Football Association after the outgoing Karl-Erik Nilsson, who took office in 2012.
The selection committee has proposed the former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as chairman, but Lars-Christer Olsson stands by his candidacy.
In total, the number of votes at the confederation meeting amounts to 259. Those entitled to vote are the district confederations and the elite clubs in Allsvenskan, Superettan, Damallsvenskan and Elitetta.
The 24 district associations have a total of 172 votes. Three votes per district and then 100 additional votes distributed proportionally according to how many clubs the districts have. For example, Stockholm’s football association is the largest and has 15 extra votes. The second largest is Skåne, which has 12 extra votes.
The associations in the men’s and women’s all-svenskan have two votes each, while the associations in the super etta (men’s) and elite etta (ladies) have one vote each.
The elite clubs have a total of 87 votes – Utsiktens BK (the super league) and Linköpings FC (the women’s league) have no voting rights due to late payment of the annual fee.
In a vote on who will become chairman, the person to be elected must be supported by an absolute majority of the votes cast – that is, half of the votes plus one.
If no person reaches an absolute majority, a second vote takes place and then a simple majority – that is, the most votes received – is required to be elected.
If a second vote ends in a tie, a third vote shall take place, again simple majority to be elected.
If there is a tie even after a third vote, lots will be drawn to decide who will be chairman.
Caroline Waldheim, Jens T Andersson, Hélène Barnekow, Tommy Andersson, Annika Grälls and Birger Jonsson were also previous candidates, but dropped out during the process.
Source: Swedish Football Association
The former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt or the former Uefa top Lars-Christer Ohlsson? One of them will be elected today as the new chairman of the Swedish Football Association following the resignation of Karl-Erik Nilsson.
Football journalists Olof Lundh and Noa Bachner emphasize that a series of fateful questions await the new football base – regardless of who it will be.
+ One Football Sweden
Eight original candidates – all nominated by either districts or elite clubs – indicate that Football Sweden has different views on who should lead the Swedish Football Association.
“Whoever becomes the new chairman must send the signal: I am everyone’s candidate and not a candidate for a special interest,” says Olof Lundh, writer and journalist on TV4’s Fotbollskanalen and C More.
It is also about creating a better relationship with the districts, which opposed the union’s attempt to slim down today’s 24 districts to larger and fewer units.
— The districts have felt pressured, but actually it is logical what the union wanted. Having fewer and larger districts would mean that less time would be spent on administration, says Lundh.
Sweden’s competitiveness both at club team and national team level must become stronger, and the two parts are connected, believes Noa Bachner, columnist at Expressen.
— The next chairman needs to have a clear action plan and a clear vision for how we are going to get back. This applies to both men’s and women’s football, says Bachner.
Lars-Christer Olsson is a challenger to Reinfeldt for the position of chairman. Olsson has previously been CEO of Uefa (2004–2007), chairman of Swedish elite football (2012–2021) and secretary general of the Swedish Football Association (1991–2000).
He seeks investment in talent development and highlights our Scandinavian neighbors as examples on the men’s side.
— In Norway and Denmark, they have cooperated with the league organisations, that is, the elite clubs. In Sweden, the situation has been much more due to the fact that the association – according to an agreement – released much of the elite activities to Sef, says Bachner and continues:
— The association cannot just ignore it completely. Player training and coaching training are related to the conditions you have to work with in the clubs. Cooperation is needed there.
Up to the clubs?
Olof Lundh also emphasizes that talent development is important for long-term competitiveness, but does not believe that it is the association’s main mission to ensure that Swedish club teams do not fall behind.
— It is a problem that is being evicted from the Swedish Football Association, but it is not something the association can control. They can influence, but it is still, for example, Malmö FF and AIK who control their operations, says Lundh.
+ Be a clear voice in the football world
Swedish football needs to take a clearer stance on issues such as human rights and against all inflows of money from dubious financiers, Noa Bachner believes.
“The diplomatic consensus strategy that Karl-Erik Nilsson has pursued has made Sweden appear much less capable of action and not as representative of what much of football in Sweden wants,” he says.
“More Prominent Role”
It is only very recently that the Swedish men’s national team has stopped January camps in, for example, Qatar. During the World Cup in the country last year, outgoing SvFF chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson said that they considered actively supporting Fifa chairman Gianni Infantino at a re-election at the congress in March, but after the handling of the team captain’s armband, the association swung.
— Sweden must take a much more prominent role. Stand up and fight for these values if you think they are important. We have been too lazy there, says Bachner.
One a divided football movement. It is the most important question for the new chairman of the football association, believes the journalist and author Olof Lundh. Archive image.
+ Take a place in politics – lack of facilities
— We cannot have the lack of facilities that we have in Sweden. We can’t have clubs with thousands of kids on the queue, who can’t play. The facility issue is urgent and the trend of underinvestment in facilities in sports Sweden needs to be broken, says Noa Bachner.
For example, the association itself has published a report on a dramatic reduction in the proportion of male elite players from Norrland.
— If you look at northern Norway, they have far, far more indoor halls and heated artificial grass pitches per capita than we have in Sweden. They have invested so that the whole country is part of Norwegian football, says Bachner and continues:
— It is as if the ambition to develop elite soccer players from northern Sweden is being phased out. It’s like sending a signal from politics that you can keep playing hockey, so we’ll take football down here in southern Sweden. I think that is unacceptable.