From 4th to 7th July, fans from across the continent joined Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and Associação Portuguesa de Defesa do Adepto (APDA) in Lisbon for the 10th European Football Fans Congress (#EFFC19).
Delegates had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of subjects amongst themselves and with representatives from UEFA, European Leagues, and several national football associations. The workshops, which had an open format, explored everything from the experience of away fans in UEFA club competitions and minimum standards in away sectors to stadium redevelopment and female fandom. SD Europe also hosted a seminar on structured relationship between FAs and supporters’ organisations, while CAFÉ did the same for Disability Access Officers and offered their expertise in the stadium session. In addition, there was a pyrotechnics workshop at Campo Branca Lucas, home to Sport Lisboa e Olivais, with a demonstration of three innovative approaches and devices from the United States, Denmark, and Norway.
APDA, meanwhile, convened a roundtable to reflect on the past, present, and future of Portuguese fan culture, and those involved in national fans’ organisations and the Fans’ Embassy Division met to share ideas and good practice. On the Saturday afternoon, Deutsche Welle journalist Felix Tamsut brought events to a close by compering a plenary session about mooted reforms to the Champions League and Europa League, which proved to be both informative and constructive.
As ever, the Congress was followed by the Bi-Annual General Meeting of FSE, where members had the chance to influence the character and policy of the organisation. And that they did, approving changes to the Constitution, passing 5 motions, and electing a new Board and team of internal auditors.
FSE would like to congratulate Hüseyin Emre Balli (ÜNIFEB 1907), Pierre Barthelemy (Association Nationale des Supporters), Paul Corkrey (Fans Embassy Wales), Martha Mestre Gens (Associação Portuguesa de Defesa do Adepto), Kevin Miles (Football Supporters’ Association), Herjan Pullen (Supportersvereniging Ajax Amsterdam), Jim Spratt (Amalgamation of the Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs), and Gregor Weinreich (Club Nr.12 – Bayern), who were all elected to the FSE Board. Mark Doidge (Director of the Anti-Discrimination Division), Michael Gabriel (Director of the Fans’ Embassy Division), and Ronan Evain (CEO) remain as appointed members of the Board.
We would also like to place on record our thanks to Robert Ustian (CSKA Fans Against Racism), who leaves the Board after 4 years of service, for his continuous commitment, enthusiasm, and effort.
For those who are interested, a more detailed report will soon follow.
The next Board meeting will take place in Autumn of this year. Members can send any comments, questions, and recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please find the full programme here and a gallery of photographs from the Congress here.