PARIS: RESPECT FAN CULTURE FANS’ EMBASSIES SET THE COURSE FOR EURO 2016

More than 150 participants from 26 countries met in Paris and prepared supporters’ services during UEFA EURO 2016. French Secretary of State for Sports, Thierry Braillard, spoke to the conference.

At the RESPECT Fan Culture Fans’ Embassies conference on 03 and 04 March 2016 the course was set for the tournament in June/July 2016.

Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and the Fédération Française de Football (F.F.F.) – supported by UEFA – welcomed stakeholders who discussed the implementation of Fans’ Embassies during UEFA EURO 2016. The first fan-related conference of this kind ever organized in France was also a platform to explain their role in the wider fan hosting concept to contribute to a festive atmosphere and security at the tournament.

More than 150 participants from FSE, UEFA, EURO 2016 SAS, French Host Cities, European Football Associations, fan experts and other major stakeholders met in the Hotel Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (03 March) and at the F.F.F. headquarters (04 March). They came from 26 European countries, so all nations participating to UEFA EURO 2016 were represented.

The RESPECT Fan Culture Fans’ Embassies Conference provided expertise and shared the experience of fan services since 1990 with Host Cities and organisers in France. EURO 2016 SAS and the French Host Cities on the other side included fan representatives in the operations implemented for the competition.

FSE, as one of UEFA’s official EURO 2016 Social Responsibility & Sustainability Projects, in association with all major stakeholders of the competition, together with supporters and organisers, established a dialogue that will benefit every fan travelling to France in summer 2016.

FSE and F.F.F. are proud that French Secretary of State for Sports, Thierry Braillard addressed the conference on Thursday, 3 March, as his presence highlighted the importance of the involvement of Fans’ Embassies into the organisation of an event like UEFA EURO 2016. In his speech, Thierry Braillard expressed his support for the voluntary work of the RESPECT Fan Culture FSE Fans’ Embassies and showed himself confident, that – with the help of the fans, running the RESPECT Fan Culture Fans’ Embassies – this major event of summer 2016 will be held in a festive and secure atmosphere. He said: “Fans are one of the pillars in the hosting of major sports events. Involving fans in the organisation of major sports events is most certainly the best way to prevent tensions.” He invited football stakeholders and supporters organisations to switch from defiance to trust.

Nicolas Desforges, Interministerial Delegate for Major Sports Events (DIGES) said in his opening address:  “Fans will be at the heart of the EURO. This competition will be a celebration thanks to the fans. We will support the RESPECT Fan Culture Fans’ Embassies, comforted by the fact that fans organisations have proven to be responsible stakeholders, fully aware of the challenges of such an event.”

Lukas Achermann, Head of Event Services EURO 2016 SAS added that he welcomed a “wonderful opportunity to see all stakeholders cooperating and to receive feedback from football fans representatives”.  The FFF said that “exchange is the only way to a mutual understanding and we are convinced that this first workshop is a milestone for fan culture’s legacy in France”.

Michael Gabriel, FSE Fans’ Embassies Director, agreed with him:

“It is a very positive sign to see all stakeholders of the EURO 2016, from supporters representatives to French authorities, football institutions, diplomatic services and host cities, joining us today and building up an active cooperation.”

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About RESPECT Fan Culture FSE Fans’ Embassies

Fans’ Embassy is the name that has been given to an advice, information and support service for football supporters travelling to international tournaments or away games in foreign countries, organised by fans and for fans. For more than 20 years Fans’ Embassy initiatives have contributed to festive atmospheres and reduced tensions and violence at major tournaments. Developed by supporters, the concept today is recognized as best practice policy in the area of safety & prevention at European level. For further information visit the Fans’ Embassies website.

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