A meeting of European supporter representatives and UEFA has taken place at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.
UEFA was represented by its President, Michel Platini; deputy general secretary, Theodore Theodoridis; the chief executive of UEFA Events SA, David Taylor; adviser to the UEFA President, William Gaillard; and various members of the UEFA administration.
The supporters groups' delegates came from Football Supporters Europe (FSE), Supporters Direct (SD) Europe, and the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE). It is the fourth time that fans and European football's governing body have met to discuss pressing current issues.
Football Supporters Europe is an independent union of European supporters and fan-related groups, initiatives and organisations addressing the interests of fans throughout the continent. FSE is planning activities both in the run-up to and during UEFA EURO 2012, especially the development of fan embassy services for supporters travelling abroad to matches. Supporters Direct Europe promotes, among a host of undertakings, fan involvement in football clubs. CAFE, meanwhile, works to offer further access for disabled fans to football games and improve stadium infrastructures with this in mind.
Various items were on the agenda including: disciplinary issues affecting fans; ticketing and security-related matters; fan embassy and fan liaison questions; facilities for disabled and handicapped supporters; and the further reinforcement of the ongoing constructive dialogue between UEFA and fan representatives.
The supporters groups presented their current activities, achievements and future projects, as well as a number of proposals and recommendations for further dialogue. UEFA underlined its responsibilities and concerns vis-a-vis spectators attending matches, along with its general encouragement of positive fan group action, and welcomed the support of fan groups to help eliminate such negative influences such as violence and racist conduct.
"The fans are football people – they represent football's identity, both at club and national team level," said Michel Platini. "Supporters are always there to follow their team through sun and rain, irrespective of whether the team is playing well or not." The UEFA President also pledged to consult responsible fan representatives of FSE on UEFA matters.
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