Representatives from several Fans’ Embassies convened in Frankfurt on 17th and 18th January to discuss preparations for UEFA EURO 2020.
Under the framework of the RESPECT FAN CULTURE digital Fans’ Embassies programme, Football Supporters Europe (FSE) is responsible for the overall organisation of Fans’ Embassies, which are tasked with providing advice, information, and support services to fans of national teams playing abroad. Fans’ Embassies also liaise with tournament organisers and public authorities.
In order to ensure that this process runs as smoothly as possible, FSE has hired three new staff members who will focus exclusively on Fans’ Embassies: Ingo Petz (centre), a fan of Union Berlin, will act as project manager, while Matthew Willis (right), who follows Newcastle United, and Elena Erkina (left), a Zenit St. Petersburg fan, will take on the role of project coordinators.
Due to the novel character of this summer’s tournament, which will take place across 12 host nations, the meeting agenda was dominated by hitherto unfamiliar logistical issues. Thankfully, none of these are insurmountable; on the contrary, we are certain that that each Fans’ Embassy is well-equipped to effectively deal with them and any others that might arise as the competition progresses.
In the coming weeks, the project manager and coordinators will visit every host city to establish a line of communication with relevant stakeholders. Fans from every participating nation will then be invited to take part in observatory visits to cities that will host their team during the group stage. These visits involve meetings with local authorities, security officers, the tourist board, stadium management, and police, allowing fan envoys to familiarise themselves with the local environment.
All Fans’ Embassies will be invited to a conference in early April (exact date and venue to be confirmed), following the conclusion of the playoffs, so they have an opportunity to meet one another. This will be followed up by a pre-tournament meeting in Berlin during the last week of May (exact date and venue to be confirmed).
In the meantime, we will be relaunching the Fans Embassies website and social media channels in the next month or so with the intention of providing fans with regular updates and digital content.