As we reported last week hundreds of football fans met in Hamburg over the weekend to launch the first-ever independent, democratic and representative European Fans’ organisation, to be named Football Supporters Europe (FSE). More than 350 people from 29 countries representing some two million football fans elected eight of their number to serve on FSE’s executive board.
The organisation has been established to provide a collective voice for fans when meeting with football and governmental authorities at European level – and FSF members may be familiar with some of the FSE board already.
The FSE’s elected members are: Kevin Miles and Dave Boyle from England, Emilio Abejón from Spain, Christina Magnussen from Norway, Michal Riecansky from Slovakia, Shay Golub from Israel, Belgium’s Dirk Vos and Tam Ferry from Scotland.
Of those Kevin Miles is the FSF’s director of international affairs, Fans’ Embassy co-ordinator extraordinaire and Free Lions editor. Dave Boyle is chief executive of Supporters Direct, an organisation the FSF works closely with, while the Association of Tartan Army Clubs’ Tam Ferry has worked with the FSF on the No Team GB campaign.
“Setting up Football Supporters Europe is an important step forward in furthering the interests of fans across national boundaries,” said the FSF’s Kevin Miles.
“The conference heard details of fans’ very different experiences in 29 countries, but it was also striking how many issues we face in common, and the willingness to unite and speak with one voice can only benefit our common cause.”
Ten workshops with speakers from across the continent were held looking at these issues which included kick-off times, club licensing, policing and much more. Action points were agreed upon and will be the basis for campaigning in the coming year. For further information, or to get involved, email FSE co-ordinator Daniela Wurbs. We’ll also post updates in FSF news so keep an eye out here too.
It was also announced at the Congress that the FSE is to organise and coordinate a three-year project Fans’ Embassies Go East which aims to develop the Fans’ Embassy network which has been pioneered by the FSF.
This new project will have a particular focus on Eastern Europe and Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Fans’ Embassies Go East has been generously supported by Uefa, whose Executive Committee has granted the project €500,000. This is in addition to the European Fans’ Congress itself which was also supported by Uefa although they also recognise the full independence of FSE.