From 6 to 9 July 2017, more than 300 fans from all over Europe joined Football Supporters Europe’s (FSE) European Football Fans Congress in Gent and Lokeren in order to set tracks for their future work.
With the input from FSE members and the local organising team, a broad-ranged #EFFC2017 programme took place, allowing exchanges between supporters and other football stakeholders on the most pressing issues for football fans in Europe.
Topics like Away Fans at European Competitions, Alternative approaches to pyrotechnics, Football & Refugees as well as accountability in football, access & inclusion, the Fan.Tastic Females exhibition or the new Council of Europe Convention were discussed in workshops. Furthermore, two plenary sessions were held, dealing with Supporters, terrorism and states of emergency and the hot topic of Safe standing.
Participants had the opportunity to exchange their views with other stakeholders, amongst others Mats Enquist (General Director of the Swedish Football League), Ivo Belet (Member of the European Parliament), Marc Timmer (UEFA), Alex Wolf (Orlando City SC) and Lasse Bauer (Brøndby IF).
As at every congress, the Biennial General Meeting of FSE took place during the #EFFC2017, including the election of a new Committee and the internal auditors. FSE members also decided that the organisation would especially focus its work in reaching better conditions for away fans and the development of safe standing.
The newly elected Committee members are Robert Ustian (CSKA Fans against Racism), Stephanie Dilba (Löwenfans gegen Rechts), Herjan Pullen (Supportersvereniging Ajax Amsterdam), Jim Spratt (Amalgamation of the Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs), Kevin Miles (Football Supporters Federation), Hüseyin Emre Balli (ÜNIFEB 1907), Pierre Barthélemy (Association Nationale des Supporters) and Paul Corkrey (Fans Embassy Wales). The appointed members of the FSE Committee still are Ronan Evain (CEO of FSE), Michael Gabriel (Director Fans Embassy Division, FSE) and Mark Doidge (Director Anti-Discrimination Division, FSE).
FSE would like to thank the leaving Committee Members Tine Hundahl Jensen, Dirk Vos and Basar Yarimoglu for their efforts and commitments in the past years.
This year’s #EFFC2017 was hosted by fans of the rival teams of Gent and Lokeren, the Supportersfederatie Gent and Front 282 Lokeren, with the support of the national umbrella organisation Belgian Supporters, KSC Lokeren, KAA Gent, Voetbal in de Stad and UEFA.
An #EFFC2017 report will be published in September.