More than 400 representatives of millions of football fans from 39 countries gathered over this weekend at the Amsterdam Arena for Football Supporters Europe’s (FSE) 6th annual European Football Fans Congress (EFFC).
The meeting was opened by Bernhard Fransen, the vice-president of the KNVB, and by a speech of UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino. Speaking for the first time at an EFFC, Infantino underlined the importance of UEFA's ongoing dialogue with fans.
Football Fans from 39 countries will discuss with UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and football bodies and institutions at the European Football Fans Congress of Football Supporters Europe (FSE) from 19-21 July 2013 in Amsterdam. Topics to be addressed in various international sessions and network meetings will include travel restrictions, EURO2020, ticket pricing, sanctions, fan ownership, the problems of football in small leagues, discrimination and legislation affecting football supporters
In view of recent debates in the Netherlands, a high-profile national panel discussion on Safety and Security in Dutch football will focus particularly on how travel restrictions imposed on supporters can be damaging for Dutch professional football. The session is organised by FSE members amongst the Dutch supporters, with support of the KNVB.
High ticket prices, problems between fans and police/security staff, racism and discrimination inside grounds. The problems football fans face and which give rise to tensions and problems in the game these days are diverse. But many fans aren´t sitting quietly in the corner and just let it happen, they are getting active everywhere in Europe, trying to counter these problems. They are getting organized to take responsibility and speak up to make football grounds an environment without violence and discrimination, where everybody can feel welcome.
Many of you have seen the pictures over the last two weeks: Fans from the three major clubs in Istanbul, arm in arm, side by side, together as “Istanbul United”, united in the protests around Taksim Square. There have been extraordinary scenes of football fans demonstrating and exercise their right as active citizens in a democratic society alongside many other people who took part in the usually peaceful protests in Istanbul and in other cities in Turkey and beyond.
It would be of benefit to the national football elite, which would increase the competitiveness of local football clubs, if the arguments of the Swedish Football Association (Svenska Fotboll Förbundet) are to be believed. It was indeed so that the institution tried to justify the removal of the 50+1 rule, as they introduced it for the first time during the 2009 “Kingdom sports meeting”.
As a result of a unique process, football supporters and representatives from all major European football institutions will launch a jointly developed „Handbook on Supporters Charters“ to promote on-going dialogue and a closer relationship between supporters and clubs in European football as means to combat current (security and economic) problems.
The document that was designed as a practical tool kit to serve clubs and fans will be launched as part of the ProSupporters Seminar and Round Table at the House of Sports in Vienna/Austria on 3 June 2013.
The big Champions League Final will take place very soon - a German final in Wembley Stadium in London. For all the lucky people who got a ticket for this match, the FSF provides a Ground guide to make this visit as easy and pleasant as possible. Here you can find important information about the final and the city of London itself. Where can we go to have a drink? How can I get around London in the most inexpensive and easiest way? What is the name of the station at the Wembley stadium? What do I have to see, visit or do in London?
One hour from Vienna, the capital of Slovakia, in a really nice hotel, with wonderful weather, the “Freekick for Equality” conference took place from the 26th of April till the 28th of April. All Partners of the chief organisator and FSE-member FairPlay and many other people from organisations, which are fighting against discrimination, were there to talk about different experiences, get together and make new encouraging contacts to other organisations having the same goal. 120 participants from different countries in Europe came to Bratislava.
Before the actual conference, the meeting with all the partners, who were part of the whole project, like FSE, took place. They gave feedback and talked about the last steps of the project execution.
The fan initiative „Fußballfans gegen Homophobie“(FfgH) visited fans of Croatian first league club NK Zagreb as starting point for their international tour under the label „Football fans against homophobia“
„Fußballfans gegen Homophobie“ is a Germanwide network of football fans from more than 40 different clubs and was found as an initiative of the fans department of football club Tennis Borussia Berlin, in cooperation with the project SOCCER SOUND" of the lesbian and gay association Berlin-Brandenburg. The initiative „Fußballfans gegen Homophobie“ started in Berlin in June 2011 and was touring through grounds all over Germany (including several first- and second- league clubs) with a big purple banner with the inscription „Fußballfans gegen Homophobie“ („Footballfans against homophobia“), to take a stand against homophobia.
There was plenty of passion for the game as the gay and lesbian football fans from QFF met last weekend. Over three days the 85 delegates and represenatitves of FSE, FARE and BAFF discussed many topics as well enjoying a party. The event was organised by the Rainbow Zebras, the LGBT Fanclub of Duisburg football team MSV. Duisburgs mayor Osenger and the president of MSV, Kirmse also spoke at the conference of 22 fan clubs from Germany and Switzerland.
Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal has to have something to do with Scotland and football. Yes, it does! It´s the longest running charity funded by Scotland football fans. The word sunshine in their name underlines that they want “to bring a little sunshine to the lifes of children whose countries were visited by the Tartan Army on tour”. The Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal is collecting money to donate it to a children´s charity in the countries, where the national team of Scotland plays. For 10 years now!
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