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Fan Lawyer Network

We know that, through no fault of their own, fans can encounter serious problems when following their team, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. They might be arrested before, during, or after a match, then prosecuted and/or banned, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is unacceptable. Fans’ rights are human rights.

That is why, in 2011, FSE established the Fan Lawyer Network, which serves two main purposes: first, to provide a forum for likeminded lawyers from different countries to exchange information; and second, to make sure that fans have access to legal advice and support when travelling.

If you encounter any problems watching your team in international competitions—or require information on a particular country and want to be put in touch with a fan lawyer—please contact us via info[at]fanseurope.com or our Twitter account. Fans of national teams can find more information on the FSE Fans’ Embassies website.


Background

Violence and discriminatory behaviour occur at football matches. Such behaviour should, of course, be dealt with in a transparent, proportionate, and particular manner. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

Although the specific risk of fans being unfairly targeted differs from country to country, the problem itself is a general one that spans national borders. In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of cases in which the principles of the rule of law have been downgraded or ignored, with fans subject to unjust and/or disproportionate treatment.

Many European countries have legal structures in place to prevent such abuses. Lawyers are especially important in this context, because, in addition to their work on behalf of fans on matchdays, they are also integral to the pre- and post-match legal framework, including:

  • The preservation of fans’ rights and agreements between fans and other stakeholders.
  • Access to and maintenance of country-specific legal resources and counsel.
  • Representing fans in court.

Alongside this legal framework, FSE supports self-regulation and preventative work in the stands and within fans’ groups.


International matches present special challenges for away fans, including:

  • A lack of knowledge regarding local laws, rules, and customs.
  • Uncertainty about the approach of the local police force and stewards.
  • Difficulty establishing a person’s rights (i.e., in case of arrest).
  • Language barrier.

For these reasons, as well as others, it is even more important for fans to have access to legal information and representation in case something goes wrong.

For over a decade, members of the FSE Fan Lawyer Network have helped fellow fans with all the above issues, either by providing legal information beforehand or representing affected fans on the ground. Some clubs, such as Eintracht Frankfurt (see our interview with their Fan Department), also hire local lawyers to accompany their respective fans for a whole trip, ready to interject and mediate if problems arise.

If you need legal information on a specific country or want to be put in touch with a fan lawyer, please contact us via info[at]fanseurope.org or have a look at the country-by-country contact list below.

Austria

Manfred Arthofer (Steyregg)

Tel. +43 732 272733

kanzlei[at]rechtsanwalt-arthofer.at

Website


Matthias Kapferer (Innsbruck)

Tel. +43 512 581959

office[at]tkb-ra.at

Website

Belgium

Pierre Vandueren (Brussels)

Tel. + 32 2 5033610

vandueren[at]iuris.be

Website

Denmark

Dorthe Kynde Nielsen (Copenhagen)

Tel. +45 33 445575

dkn[at]ecolaw.dk

Website

England / Scotland / Wales

Melanie Cooke (Essex)

Tel. +44 333 9390063

mail[at]football-law.co.uk

Website

France

Cyril Dubois (Paris)

+33 1 75579362

cyril-dubois[at]orange.fr

Website

Germany

Marco Noli (Munich)

Tel. +49 89 50059130

noli[at]kanzlei-westend.de

Website


Angela Furmaniak (Lörrach)

Tel. +49 7621 425195

furmaniak[at]rechtsanwaeltinnen-loerrach.de

Website

Greece

Harry Ladis (Athens / Thessaloniki)

Tel. +30 210 3642048

ladis-daliani@protonmail.com

Website

Italy

Lorenzo Contucci (Rome)

Tel. +39 347 8306836

postmaster[at]studiolegalecontucci.it

Website

Netherlands

Christian Visser (Amsterdam)

T +31 20 6383606

info[at]meijerscanatan.nl

Website

Portugal

Martha Gens (Lisbon)

Tel. +351 21 3192080

mgens[at]adcecija.pt

Website

Switzerland

Daniel Wipf (Zurich)

Tel. +41 44 2518017

wipf[at]delphin-anwaelte.ch

Website

Turkey

Gürkan Özocak (Istanbul)

Tel. +90 212 2871001

gurkan[at]ozocakerdogan.com

Website


Expanding the Network

We are always looking to expand the Fan Lawyer Network, but we do have to rely on your help in this regard. If you have any contacts for lawyers dealing with fans rights or defending supporters on a regular basis in YOUR country/city, please let us know via email at info[at]fanseurope.org.

Football Supporters Europe eV
Postfach 30 62 18
20328 Hamburg
Germany

 

       
Tel.: +49 40 370 877 51
Fax: +49 40 370 877 50
Email: info@fanseurope.org

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