Save Fan Culture!
FSE Stadium Action Days
29 April – 16 May 2011
Excessive and disproportionate use of force, unjust arrests, banned flags or banners for no transparent reason, arbitrary stadium ban procedures and worst of all, punishment of entire sets of fans for the wrongdoing of mostly a tiny minority of individuals. Practically all fans have experienced one or the other. Many experience it on a regular basis, some at every away match, and others just at their home matches.
Due to numerous of these negative experiences, police is often perceived as an “enemy” rather than a body which is there to protect us and ensure our safety in football – which it is supposed to do. For many fans, all of this is just another manifestation of the “modern game”. Repression and collective stigmatisation of fans as a problem from the side of the police, authorities and clubs is certainly part in many fans lives.
Life inside football grounds has changed. Increased commercialization in the past years have lead to clubs and whole leagues being more and more dependent on their various private sponsors – TV companies, financial groups, rich investors etc. New laws and regulations have imposed stricter and stricter forms of control or restrictions over fans all over Europe, under the pretense of increasing stadium security or safety, or to fight against “unwanted elements” – such as the use of pyrotechnics. In consequence, the needs and wishes of the traditional, genuine fans have been more and more collectively neglected.
Generally, all around Europe, new and stricter regulations are being implemented or considered – new and improved camera systems or special ID cards for fans, and many fans still have to face an everyday presence of police officers inside their stands or untrained stewards without expertise in de-escalation strategies. Encouraging self-policing by giving responsibility back to the fans rather than treating them like passive consumers is not considered an option. Collective punishment of whole sets of innocent fans e.g. via matches behind closed doors – for the actions of a tiny minority – are part of the official means of sanctioning as a rule, thousands of fans are being given stadium bans every year, often without evidence or as preventive measures, even against entire groups of supporters.
Despite the situation we are facing, it is us the match-going, passionate, football supporters from around Europe that ARE the “lifeblood” of football and we should raise our voice. It is up to us to stand up wherever necessary and refuse to be treated as second class citizens just because we happen to go to a football game and fight the tightening grip of repressive means of sanctioning. It is time for us to organize and work for a common goal: to Save Our Fan Culture
We as active, match-going and passionate fans from all around Europe:
Call upon, clubs, leagues and football associations, to stop the introduction of Fan ID CardS
Call upon responsible authorities to uphold valid laws and legislation requiring all police officers to be recognized individually by clearly visible ID numbers
Call upon responsible authorities to implement the introduction of trained stewards instead of police officers inside stadia
Call for the introduction of transparent, permitting and proportional regulations regarding the usage of fan items, such as: flags, banners and tifo materials, inside stadia, developed in close consultation with football supporters
Want to encourage self-policing amongst football fans and call upon UEFA, national FA’s, clubs and authorities to take all necessary means to foster such developments as well
We as football supporters want to enjoy matches and support our club in a free, hospitable and passionate atmosphere. If we are listened to and considered, we are part of the solution, not the problem! Let’s show them how colourful the fan culture is that they risk to lose!
Create a tifo, display banners, distribute leaflets and info amongst fans and involve your group, your stand, and your friends. Get active and join the European Action Day “Save Fan Culture!”, by using the slogan on your banners, leaflets and actions, during the days from 29th of April to the 16th of May 2011. Everone is welcome to join the campaign that can consent and support the FSE core principles
It’s up to us to challenge police repression and stand up for case-sensitive, fair and transparent treatment of football fans in Europe.
It is up to us to unite, show how many we are and make our points visible to Save Fan Culture!
Click here to find out how you can participate!