Football Supporters Europe & SD Europe: Late-summer round-up
Posted on 17th September 2021
The FSA works with two organisations, Football Supporters (FSE) and SD Europe, to represent and promote the interests of football supporters at European level. To keep FSA members up-to-date on that work, we’ve rounded up some of the recent highlights from our friends at FSE and SD Europe…
SD Europe: Climate crisis report
SD Europe has been developing a detailed report about the ongoing climate crisis and how supporter organisations are keen to be at the front of tackling it.
The sustainability action plan report, titled Clean Sheet: SD Europe’s Path To Sustainability, has reached its final stage – the project has been led by Shay Golub, an SD Europe Advisory Board member and chair of the national supporters organisation in Israel (Israfans), who has more than 20 years of experience as a professional in the area of sustainability.
New chair joins SD Europe
SD Europe was also pleased to announce the appointment of a new chair – IFK Göteborg supporter and head of Sweden’s national supporter organisation Sofia Bohlin.
Sofia succeeds Diego Riva who had served as chair since 2016, and will remain on the board as a director. Diego is an Italian qualified lawyer since 2000 focusing on EU and international business law and has extensive experience in corporate governance matters. Diego has been a counsel to SD Europe since 2004 and is chairman of Supporters in Campo since 2014.
“It’s a genuine honour to take on this position as the chair of SD Europe,” Sofia said. “I see throughout the network so much good work being done to further supporters’ priorities for a better football.”
Fans oppose two-year World Cup cycle
Led by Football Supporters Europe, fan organisations around the globe recently came together to sign a statement condemning FIFA’s plans for a two-year World Cup cycle.
FIFA’s plans, alternating between the men’s and women’s game each summer, recently emerged and their chief of global football development Arsène Wenger claimed “it’s what fans want.”
But supporter organisations condemned the plans in a joint statement. “We do not want or need more World Cups,” it read.
“We enjoy the World Cup precisely because it is an extraordinary event. Most of us do not have the time, money, or ability to travel to the other side of the world every 24 months to watch our teams play in a much-diminished competition and half-empty stadia.”
UEFA ends away fans’ ban
Earlier this month UEFA reversed their decision to put a blanket ban on away fans at European competition this season – after fans lobbied via FSE for a case-by-case approach.
Back in June, UEFA’s executive committee decided to block all admittance of away fans to the qualifying and play-off phases of the Champions League, Europa League and the newly-formed Europa Conference League.
However, the governing body decided to end that restriction following a campaign led by FSE. “International travel is currently permitted for many citizens in the UEFA region,” FSE said. “Football fans should not be subject to specific exclusions, which amount to a form of unequal treatment.”