Earlier this week, Israeli club Maccabi Haifa were ordered to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of the local Football Association, regarding flares shown at the derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Whilst this is in line with normal procedure, saw the Israeli Disciplinary Committee invite the Maccabi Haifa supporters’ trust to provide their perspective on events – an almost unprecedented occurrence. The trust accepted, and were represented by Israfans, the national supporters’ organisation. Member of the Disciplinary Committee, prof. Miguel Deutsch said: “We think non-for-profit supporters’ organisations are entitled to stand before this Committee. All sanctions indirectly affect the supporters, but it is unlikely they will be invited to any disciplinary hearing. This is the reason, given the importance of the issue discussed, we allowed representatives of Israfans to present their views”.
Although an exception, this landmark decision sets a great precedent for Israeli supporters and could serve as an example for other Football Associations, as supporters, although one of the most important football’s stakeholders, are often left out of the discussion and the decision-making process.
Established in 2006, Israfans is the democratic, national umbrella organisation for supporters’ trusts and member-run clubs in Israel. Their goal is to protect and promote the rights of supporters in Israel. Israfans also encourage and support the development of democratic supporters’ organisations that want to achieve structured involvement in the running of their clubs as well as member-owned clubs. Their main activities include the promotion of the rights of supporters, assisting the fight against violence and racism in sport and strengthening the relationship between sport teams and the community.
SD Europe is an organisation that assists democratic supporters’ groups in achieving formal structured involvement in their clubs and associations, and developing member ownership of football clubs. Established in 2007 with support from UEFA, SD Europe also advises clubs on their ownership and governance structure and works with football governing bodies, leagues, UEFA, and European institutions. Currently, it is active in over 20 European countries and is responsible for the implementation of the Supporter Liaison Officer requirement (Art. 35, UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations).
For more information, contact Ben Shave (firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 7985 628 215)