Just days after UEFA's Respect campaign for UEFA EURO 2012 was unveiled, volunteers in Poland and Ukraine braved the inclement weather to take to the streets as part of the Respect Fan Culture project.
The initiative, which aims to support football fans throughout next summer's finals, was tested ahead of Poland's 2-0 defeat by Italy and Ukraine's thrilling 3-3 draw with Germany. With the collaboration of Football Supporters Europe (FSE), fan embassies were set up in Wroclaw and Kyiv, where the games took place, to provide assistance with last-minute travel and accommodation arrangements, as well as aid in unforeseen circumstances.
In Wroclaw this involved helping with transport from the airport to the city after a group of Italy fans were left stranded. Otherwise things ran smoothly, allowing 20 embassy workers in each venue, made up of Polish, Ukrainian, German and Italian volunteers and experienced fan workers, to familiarise themselves with the operation in Poland and Ukraine.
Several remained at established stations around the stadiums, while others braved temperatures of -4C to help distribute thousands of Fan Guides and, in Kyiv, around 500 copies of the fanzine HELMUT.
The initiative forms a key part of the UEFA's Respect campaign for UEFA EURO 2012, launched last week. The social responsibility programme, aided by an investment totalling up to €3m, takes the shape of four key social projects: Respect Fan Culture (the banner under which Saturday's events took place), Respect Diversity, Respect Inclusion and Respect your Health.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.