A team of eight police officers heading from Northern Ireland to France for Euro 2016 will act as "cultural interpreters" to stop authorities overreacting to drunk but harmless fans.
Up to 50,000 NI supporters are expected to travel to see the side compete in its first major tournament for 30 years, with group stage matches in Nice, Lyon and Paris.
PSNI Superintendent Nigel Goddard, who is leading the delegation, will be in touch with supporters' groups every day of the event. He said: "We have coined the phrase cultural interpreter - that's how we see our role."
The negotiating technique has been used successfully in previous tournaments in Germany and Italy to avoid clashes with riot police. The officers will help monitor fans' behaviour, passing information to French police and to Northern Irish supporters.