Last month, over 35 female fan activists from across Europe attended the first online meeting of the F+Collective—an informal network that aims to sustainably mobilise female fans from within Football Supporters Europe’s (FSE) membership and beyond.
The meeting provided an opportunity for participants to introduce themselves, exchange details, and discuss examples of good practice. To provide some context on the latter point, representatives from two female fan networks that are already active on a domestic and regional level were invited to share their experiences.
Nicole Selmer provided an overview of F_in – Frauen im Fuβball, an independent group which provides a safe space and platform for female fans in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. F_in was founded in 2004 after concerns were raised about the lack of representation and visibility of female fans in German speaking nations, as well as a dearth of support for and between them. The group meets once a year and has recently been included as a stakeholder in the Deutsche Fußball Liga’s AG Fankulturen (Fan Cultures Working Group).
Nicole was followed by Agnes Gertten from Nätverk för kvinnor i supporterkulturen, a national network for female fans in Sweden. Nätverk was formed in 2016 in response to conversations held at a meeting of the national fans’ organisation Svenska Fotbollssupporterunionen (SFSU) the previous year. The idea behind the group is similar to F_in and F+: To improve representation, challenge outdated stereotypes, and create a safe space. This has filtered down to club level, with a number of local networks emerging over the past few years—Agnes also represents Malmösystrar, for instance, a Malmö fans’ group which has over 300 members.
The meeting then moved onto the subject of UEFA club competitions reform. FSE Board member Martha Gens outlined FSE’s position and work on the matter, including efforts to solicit the opinions of members and the existence of a dedicated member-led working group.
After the meeting, Nicole Winkelhake from FSE commented:
“We were thrilled to be able to bring together so many women from different backgrounds who nonetheless share similar values. It just goes to show how important and necessary meetings and groups like this are. Everybody was inspired by the level of engagement and discussion on crucial topics, and we’re all really looking forward to future meetings and seeing the network grow.”
Details about the next online meeting will be published soon. If you are interested in participating, please email fplus[at]fanseurope.org.
The F+Collective is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion and is open to non-binary and transgender people.