On 27 September, UEFA President Alexander Čeferin announced the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee to select the bid presented by the German Football Association (DFB) to host the EURO 2024. It was opposed to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF). FSE welcomes the decision and expects the DFB to fulfill its commitments.
EURO 2024 is the first UEFA competition to include specific bidding requirements on human rights risk management and anti-corruption, developed with the input of the Sport & Rights Alliance (SRA)*. The Tournament Requirements referred to the key international standards on human rights including the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, which highlights the importance of stakeholders involvement in the preparation and the run-up of a mega-sporting event.
UEFA included the new requirements in its ‘social responsibility and sustainability’ policy, which encompasses the environmental, social and economic dimensions of UEFA EURO 2024, as well as human rights. The pro-active involvement of all stakeholders, including supporters, is its most crucial component. In their bidding dossiers, the DFB and the TFF were, among other things, required to aim at “proactively addressing human rights risks” and “engage with relevant stakeholders.”
During the bidding phase for the EURO 2024, the DFB launched a shareholder consultation process to ensure that every group potentially affected by the tournament could give its input. FSE took an active part in this process. The DFB also pledged to give itself a Human Rights strategy, to which FSE contributed as part of the Sport & Rights Alliance.
During last weekend’s games, active football fans from all over Germany protested against the German EURO 2024 bid. FSE fully shares the concerns expressed as previous tournaments had a significant impact on local fans, ranging from inadequate football grounds, often built without any consultation of the local fan base, to further repressive police measures against football fans in the build-up of the tournaments.
“We urge the DFB as well as the national and local organising committees to fulfill their bidding commitments on human rights and further develop a meaningful stakeholders consultation – on the European and national level, but also in the 10 host cities, said Ronan Evain for Football Supporters Europe. The interests of the local fans, who will be strongly impacted by the UEFA EURO 2024 and will keep on cheering on their respective teams years after the EURO has ended, have to be seriously taken into account.”
FSE reiterates its commitment to take part in any further consultation process and is hoping that the DFB will take every necessary measures to make the UEFA EURO 2024 a fully inclusive and fan-friendly experience.
*FSE is one of the founding members of the Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA). The SRA is a coalition of leading NGOs, sports organisations and trade unions, which was founded in early 2015 to address the decision-makers of international sports mega-events to introduce measures to ensure these events are always organised in a way that respects human rights, the environment and anti-corruption requirements at all stages of the process – from bidding, through to the development and delivery phase to final reporting.