Cities, clubs and representatives of the Football Supporters Europe (FSE) network will gather in Barcelona early next week for a seminar aimed at sharing experiences of staging international football matches – with hospitality and fair play within the host cities as major focal points.
The Fan Hosting Seminar, held under the theme Football, Host Cities and RESPECT, will bring together a variety of football stakeholders in the Catalan football stronghold on 2 February. The day before, a declaration of goodwill will be signed by European cities and football clubs to promote fair play within cities staging international matches. It is being proposed by UEFA and the City of Barcelona, and the ceremony will be hosted by the mayor of Barcelona and attended by UEFA president Michel Platini, mayors of European cities and high-level officials from clubs belonging to the European Club Association (ECA), the body that represents 144 clubs from all 53 UEFA member associations.
The declaration will emphasise a shared will among clubs, host cities and fans to combat violence, acts of vandalism and other forms of anti-social conduct at international matches; to seek to improve communication and information exchanges at such gatherings; to look at ways of how best to welcome and host large numbers of supporters at games; to examine methods of providing support to away fans with regards to information about the customs and laws of the city they are visiting.
Being responsible hosts
"The UEFA club competitions are major sports and media events in Europe," underline Mr Platini and the mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, in their invitation to the seminar. "Thanks to its popularity, European football not only attracts supporters to stadiums, but also offers media exposure to host cities as prized tourist destinations. However, European cities which host international matches sometimes face public order problems before and after a match. We are all aware of the importance of solving such problems and promoting hospitality, respect for fair play, fairness and sportsmanship not only inside stadiums, but also in the host city streets.
Declaration of goodwill
"UEFA and the city of Barcelona have therefore taken the joint decision to propose that European cities and football clubs sign a declaration of goodwill to promote fair play within cities hosting international football matches," they add.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.