The FSE Fans’ Embassy Core was formed in 2011 ahead of UEFA EURO 2012. The current core group has been successfully functioning to the present date. The core group have an in depth understanding of football fans from across Europe, with representation from 8 nations. Formed of members who have extensive experience in the Fans’ Embassies division from original founders of Fans’ Embassies from Germany and England to progressive and active Fan Embassies who have followed. The experience gained by the members of the core group at previous international tournaments is essential to building relationships with new nations and key stakeholders in the game. The core group meet up twice a year to discuss plans for upcoming International events and how they will be approached. Finally, the Fans’ Embassy Core group is a division of Football Supporters Europe and is represented on the main board through the director of the Fans’ Embassy Division, Michael Gabriel.
Below you will find a description of all members of the core group.
Director – Michael Gabriel (KOS Fanprojekte, Germany)
Michael Gabriel is the head of the KOS (set up in 1993 to accompany, coordinate and participate in the establishment of further projects for the social-educational fan projects) and the Director of the Fans´ Embassies division at FSE. In his younger years he was a successful football player, even winning the German championship with the youth Team of Eintracht Frankfurt a club close to his heart. Michael was one of the pioneers in the foundation of Fans´ Embassies running a German Fans´ Embassy for the first time in the 1990’s.
Sarah Agerklint (Danske Fodbold Fanklubber, Denmark)
Sarah Agerklint is the main coordinator for Danish Fans’ Embassy and the Danish fan contact to the Danish FA and Danish SLO. Sarah is Co-chairman of the National Fan group ‘Danske Fodbold Fans’ and the Chairlady for her local supports Brøndby Supporters club – of course she supports Brøndby IF. While an avid football supporter, the same cannot be said for her talents on the football field. As she would say herself “If I get within a meter of a football I am more likely to tackle my self rather than my opponent, that’s why my place on the stands fits perfectly”.
Paul Corkrey (Football Supporters Association Cymru, Wales)
Paul is the coordinator for the Football Supporters Association (FSA) in Wales, mainly dealing with issues relating to Welsh national team fans, but also domestic football issues and is a member of the FSA National council. He first become involved with fan liason in the 1990’s campaigning against football banning orders and kettling of football fans in the UK, particularly his own club Cardiff City, who were a victim of them more than any other club. Paul got involved with Fan Embassies for the first time in 2002 and with FSE from its formation in 2008. Paul has successfully ran Fans’ Embassies in more than 30 European countries to date, and for the first time at a tournament in France back in 2016.
Elena Erkina (Fan Embassy Russia, Russia)
Elena Erkina is a CEO of Russian based NGO ‘Fans’ Embassy Russia’ whose work is aimed at developing social initiatives among football fans in Russia, supporting various projects, particularly in international cooperation at major football tournaments such as UEFA EURO and FIFA World Cup. Elena Erkina studied social and sport sciences in Russia and in Europe, that in combination with extensive practical experience in project management of social projects in sport, equipped her with necessary skills and knowledge to be contributed to the development of social work in sport. Currently, Elena Erkina is actively involved in cross-border cooperation projects between Russia and EU countries that are targeted at developing extensive sport and social relations through people- to -people cooperation.
Lukas Meier (Fanarbeit Schweiz (FaCH), Switzerland)
Lukas Meier is head of project at Fanarbeit Switzerland and a fanworker for Fanarbeit Bern (Young Boys Bern). In his position at Fanarbeit Switzerland he is head of the Swiss Fans’ Embassy and has been since 2016. In 1998 he was founding member and is now Co-President of the fan initiative halbzeit/unite against racism of Young Boys Bern, the team he supports in Switzerland.
Kevin Miles (Football Supporters Association (FSA), England)
Kevin Miles is the Chief Executive at the Football Supporters Association (FSA) and was a pioneer in the founding of Fans Embassies. With over 30 years’ experience of running Fans’ Embassies at England Internationals, Kevin has been an integral part of the core group since its inception. Kevin also sits on Kick It Out’s Professional Game Guidance Group. As Newcastle United and England fan, he’s not used to seeing much success on the field.
Jim Spratt (Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporter Clubs (AONISC), Northern Ireland)
Jim has been a Committee member of the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs since 2011, serving as treasurer since 2012. He represents Head, Heel or Toe NISC. Jim is a board member of Football Supporters Europe; he was first elected in 2015 when the AONISC hosted the FSE Fans’ Congress in Belfast. The AONISC are very committed to the concept and values of Fans’ Embassies and were happy to get the opportunity to run a Fans’ Embassy when Northern Ireland qualified for the first time at UEFA EURO 2016 in France.
Ronan Evain (Football Supporters Europe)
Ronan has been the CEO of Football Supporters Europe since November 2016 after having coordinated the work of the organisation in the framework of UEFA EURO 2016 in France from January 2015. As CEO, he coordinates the activities of FSE, oversees its financial affairs and is responsible for public relations and lobbying. Ronan is a fan of FC Nantes.
Ingo Petz (Football Supporters Europe)
Before Ingo Petz came to Football Supporters Europe he worked as a journalist for almost 20 years. Moreover he developed his own fan culture project. Fankurve Ost aims at illustrating democratic mechanisms through football fan culture for fans, football staff and journalists from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Ingo is a supporter of 1. FC Union Berlin.
Matt Willis (Football Supporters Europe)
Matt Joined Football Supporters Europe at the start of 2020. Matt, has 4 years’ experience with the English Fans’ Embassy team, the Free Lions, including UEFA EURO 2016 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Matt is a graduate of Durham University in which his dissertation was a review of expressions of national identity at EURO 2016. Matt, for his sins, is a supporter of Newcastle United.