Earlier this month, football fans from 35 countries discussed the current situation for fans in Europe at the 7th European Football Fans Congress in Bosco Albergati, Italy.

FSE is the independent democratic network of football supporters across Europe currently representing more than 3 million football supporters in 45 countries and its annual European Football Fans Congress is the ideal platform for fans to improve the exchange between active fans all over Europe.

For the first time the event took place in Italy and was hosted in co-operation with the “Mondiali Antirazzisti”, the biggest anti-racist football festival in the world. Among many other topics there were lively discussions, panels and workshops on the role of football fans in social protest movements (Turkey, Ukraine, Spain, Egypt), joint strategies against discrimination, the growing problems of repression against fans and initiatives for international cooperation. 

FSE Coordinator Daniela Wurbs said: "It is crucial that the European football family listens to the demands and problems of their fans and further enhance and promote a dialogue with fans. This weekend, we've heard from many participants about their problems in countries when fans are treated firstly as a problem and not listened to, like in Italy, but also how the situation improved greatly in the countries, where such a dialogue exists".

Daniela Conti from Unione Italiana Sport Per tutti (UISP), one of the core organisers of the Mondiali Antirazzisti, added: "It was a big pleasure for us to have this year’s European Fans Congress at the Mondiali Antirazzisti, an event where traditionally loads of fans groups as well as grassroots organisations mix. We think visitors of both events were able to learn a lot from each other, by sharing their experiences and examples of good work".

One of the highlights of every year's congress are the elections for the FSE Executive Committee. The following representatives were elected onto the Committee for the season to come: Kevin Miles (England), Martin Endemann (Germany), Michal Riecansky (Slovakia), Riccardo Bertolin (Italy), Dirk Vos (Belgium), Basar Yarimoglu (Turkey), Tine Hundahl Jensen (Denmark), Victoria Dominguez Almela (Spain). They are joined by the appointed members from the on-topic divison of FSE on anti-discrimination Goran Malic (Croatia), the director of the FSE Fans’ Embassy division Thomas Gassler (Austria) and FSE Coordinator Daniela Wurbs (Germany).

Place and date for next year’s congress have also already been announced in Bosco Albergati: It will be held during the first weekend of July 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and on the initiative of the FSE members from the 'Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs'. 

Published 10/07/2014