This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, will speak at the FSF’s annual conference, titled Fans’ Parliament, which takes place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday July 24th.
She joins keynote speaker Dr. Declan Hill whose best-seller The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime claims that some of the most high-profile games in world football may have been fixed – right up to the Champions League and World Cup.
The civil-rights campaigner will appear before an audience of fans to discuss the manner in which supporters are policed – the FSF receives more complaints about policing and stewarding than any other issue. The panel will also feature Mark James of Salford Law School, Nicholas Long from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and the FSF’s lead on policing and stewarding Amanda Jacks. Football supporters are subject to various laws which do not apply to any other groups in society. It is, for example, illegal to drink or be in possession of alcohol within sight of the pitch while in a ground.
The FSF has also noticed a trend in the authorities applying for banning orders from the courts for offences such as “drunk attempting to enter a designated sports ground” where no violence or disorder was involved. The Football Spectators Act 1989 and the Football (Disorder) Act 2000 allows this and supporters can be required to surrender their passports without ever facing a jury or criminal court.
Fans will also have the opportunity to attend morning workshops on safe standing and club governance. Polls show that nine out of every 10 fans back the introduction of safe standing areas and this workshop will look at ways in which supporters can campaign for its implementation. Meanwhile, the club governance workshop will feature representatives from UEFA, the FA, Football League and Premier League.
Award-winning Canadian investigative journalist and academic Dr. Declan Hill will give the afternoon’s keynote speech to Fans’ Parliament. Hill alleges that match-fixers have attended every senior and junior major international tournament of the past 20 years and argues poor financial mismanagement and non-payment of the players opens the door to bribery.
Over the course of four years Hill immersed himself in the murky world of the multi-billion dollar illegal Asian gambling market and organised crime. Travelling across four continents Hill interviewed more than 220 people including professional gamblers, Mafia hitmen, undercover police, players and match officials.
The result is Hill’s astonishing international best-seller The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime. “It is astounding at the world’s biggest sporting event that there will be players running on to the pitch who do not know how much they will get paid or even if they will be paid at all. It is this that is the gateway for corruption,” says Hill.
Hundreds of football fans are expected to attend Fans’ Parliament from across the UK and beyond. The event is open to FSF members and non-members alike and is entirely free to attend.
Fans for Diversity looked back on another hugely successful 12 months by launching its 2017 report in Parliament yesterday. The campaign, which is run jointly by the Football Supporters’ Federation and Kick It Out, started in 2014 and has made huge strides in that time.