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European Football Fans Congress 2014

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

FSEFootball fans from 35 countries are coming together from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th July in Bosco Albergati (near Bologna) in Italy for Football Supporters Europe’s (FSE) annual conference.

The European Football Fans Congress sees supporters from across the continent come together to share experiences, campaign tips, and build useful contacts. Thousands of fans are expected to attend.

The event takes place in a different country every year and is this year being held alongside the Mondiali Antirazzisti, the world’s biggest anti-racist football festival.

The FSF is affiliated to FSE and will be represented by Garreth Cummins in the Divided We Fall! session. Garreth will speak about the role the FSF play in both coordinating campaigns which bring fan groups together, such as A Derby To Be Proud Of, and supporting those organised at club level, like City Till We Die.

Moroccan footballer Abdes Ouaddou will talk about his experiences with the Kafala System in Qatar, the “sponsor” system which gives employers responsibility for legal status. Ouaddou was capped 57 times by Morocco and won his case against the club who withheld his exit visa and failed to pay him for six months.

There’ll also be workshops on the Role of Football Fans in Current Social Protest Movements in Turkey, Ukraine, Spain, and the Middle East, as well as a session examining International Sport Mega Events and Human Rights.

Daniela Wurbs, FSE Spokesperson, said: “International networking of football supporter are an important means to avoid conflict and strengthen the voice of supporters in the game. This seventh European Football Fans Congress should show that many fans in Europe work together in solidarity for the common cause.

“But it should also send a signal to the football institutions that we see many problems as fans in football and we want to be heard – even with the most difficult preconditions. We want that people speak with us, rather than just about us.”

William Gaillard, Senior Advisor to UEFA President Michel Platini, said: “Supporters are the lifeblood of football and UEFA have kept up a fruitful dialogue on all sorts of issues relevant to football supporters through FSE.

“FSE with its members is a great asset to football for they afford a unique and meaningful way for the voice, opinions, complaints, and suggestions coming from supporters to reach the decision makers in the administration of the ‘beautiful game’”.

Football Supporters Europe (FSE)

FSE is an independent, democratic, and representative network of grassroots football supporters with members in currently more than 45 countries in Europe. FSE’s members represent more than 3.5 million supporters in total, including individual fans, ultra groups, fan club representatives and national fan organisations, thereby making FSE the biggest fans’ organisation in the world. The members of FSE are committed to a set of key values such as anti-discrimination, to the rejection of violence and good governance.

FSE is the main interlocutor of UEFA on fans’ issues and works with a number of other institutions and football governing bodies, such as the Council of Europe and the EU. The European Football Fans’ Congress is the main event of FSE and takes place in a different country every year.

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