Last week, SD Europe met with UEFA in Nyon as part of the ongoing dialogue between the two sides.
The event was attended by senior representatives from UEFA, led by First Vice President Karl-Erik Nilsson, Vice President Michele Uva and General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis and by the three European supporters organisations SD Europe, Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE).
All three supporters’ groups shared concerns and views on a number of areas, including the treatment of and facilities away fans in stadiums, standing, visa and travel issues relating to UEFA EURO 2020, access for disabled fans and training for Supporter Liaison Officers.
SD Europe also raised the need for closer cooperation between the football associations and the supporters organisations, at national level. SD Europe outlined how its current Erasmus+ project (LIAISE), which brings together national supporters organisations, national football and league associations, helps to create constructive and positive partnerships. Overall, the organisation is focusing on meeting its members’ needs for more support around membership and volunteer management as well as support for those running democratic football clubs and has shared its next steps with UEFA last week.
On its part, UEFA updated fans on revisions to the disciplinary regulations and on the process to shape its club competitions post 2024 and committed to involve fans in future discussions.
UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis said: “Fans groups play an important role in connecting supporters with clubs, leagues and governing bodies. These meetings give a valuable opportunity for us to exchange views and hear from fans. We won’t always agree but we should always talk and I am grateful for the constructive atmosphere at this afternoon’s meeting.”
Antonia Hagemann, CEO of SD Europe said: “This annual exchange with the General Secretary is important to discuss our concerns but also positive developments around supporter ownership and involvement at the highest level at UEFA. And we appreciate further consultations on the matters raised last week, including the reform process of the club competitions post 2024.”