Football Supporters Europe (FSE) is opposed to a blanket ban on away fans at UEFA club and national team competition fixtures.
International travel is currently permitted for many citizens in the UEFA region. Football fans should not be subject to specific exclusions, which amount to a form of unequal treatment.
This view is shared by a number of clubs and other stakeholders. Indeed, AFC Ajax chief executive and former player Edwin van der Sar recently made a similar argument:
“Football is for the fans—of both clubs. In my conversations at the [UEFA Champions League] draw in Istanbul, I will emphasise how important we think it is for our fans to be able to attend away games—in a responsible way, of course.”
As things stand, however, a group of Dutch fans, for example, can visit France, go to a cinema, music festival, and sporting event together, but still be barred from attending their own club’s match in a stadium that is filled with home fans.
FSE therefore believes that guidelines on away fans should be decided on a case-by-case basis in line with the local public health situation and advice of the relevant public authorities—which the overwhelming majority of fans have respected throughout the pandemic and fully understand are liable to change.
We have communicated this position to UEFA and asked for a timely re-evaluation of its existing policy before the fixture list is announced so that fans have ample opportunity to make any travel-related decisions.