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EURO 2024 Fan Forum: United by football

This week, the UEFA EURO 2024 team hosted a milestone Fan Forum event in Frankfurt, bringing together stakeholders and supporters to discuss how to ensure the best possible fan experience during the tournament.

UEFA EURO 2024 Fan Forum event in Frankfurt.
UEFA EURO 2024 Fan Forum event in Frankfurt. UEFA

United by football, the tournament’s slogan, encapsulates the essence of this inaugural event, which brought together tournament organisers, host cities, participating national associations (PNAs) and an array of fans and groups with one common goal - to ensure an unforgettable, safe and enjoyable experience for fans throughout the upcoming tournament in Germany.

The impressive list of attendees included all 21 qualified nations (three more will come through March’s play-offs) and supporters through Fans’ Embassies, representatives of all ten host cities, Football Supporters Europe (FSE), Coordination Centre Fan Projects (KOS), the German Federal Ministry for the Interior and Community, and specialists from national football information points (NFIP).

Over three days, the group engaged in a series of plenary sessions and one-to-one sessions, aimed at fostering collaboration and coordination between participating national associations, tournament organisers and host cities, to create a seamless fan experience this summer.

The fan forum’s comprehensive agenda coved a wide range of topics:

1. Host City and fan activation concepts:

Participants discussed important fan matters such as fan meeting points, fan walks, fan zones, information points, mobility, accommodation, in-stadia fan activations, ticketing, communication, safety and security, Supporter Liaison Officers, sustainability, the UEFA EURO 2024 Human Rights Declaration and grievance mechanisms.

2. Overview of EURO 2024 projects:

The forum provided a comprehensive overview of the diverse fan-focused projects lined up for EURO 2024, offering insights into the grand scope and scale of the tournament. The topics covered ranged from fan services, mobility, safety and security, venue operations to event communication through the UEFA EURO 2024 mobile application, sustainability and more.

Two of the projects presented were the Fans’ Embassy and Fans Welcome initiatives. Co-funded by UEFA EURO 2024 and the German Federal Ministry for the Interior and Community, and coordinated by FSE and KOS, the Fans Embassy and Fans Welcome projects form a constructive and positive part of the hospitality programme of the tournament.

Fans’ Embassies are designed ‘for fans, by fans’ and provide advice, information, and support services for national team fans travelling to away games or international tournaments in a foreign country. They offer help and guidance for their respective national team supporters about practical issues in each host city and can act as a contact point to authorities for direct communication with fans.

Fans Welcome is an information point provided by the host city and ran by the local fan projects ‘for fans by fans’ centrally located in each host city. This initiative provides expert knowledge on international and local fan culture. It will also serve as a service point for issue resolution and as a starting point for additional fan activities. With the support of host city volunteers, it aims to provide tournament-specific and local information to cater for all fans' interests.

3. Networking opportunities:

The one-to-one sessions facilitated ample opportunities for host cities, PNAs, and Fans’ Embassy representatives, as well as the NFIP, to initiate personal contacts through individual discussions, to connect and network. This laid the foundation for collaborative efforts that will enhance teamwork among all involved parties, fostering an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for fans from across the continent.

Working with and for fans

Supporter Liaison Officer Workshop at UEFA HQ.
Supporter Liaison Officer Workshop at UEFA HQ.UEFA via Getty Images

The Fan Forum is one of many ongoing initiatives at UEFA to improve the spectator and fan experience across European football. Earlier this year, UEFA formalised a Memorandum of Understanding with Football Supporters Europe (FSE), the body representing the interests of football fans at the European level.

In January 2024, UEFA staged the first-ever Supporter Liaison Officer workshop too, gathering representatives from European clubs competing in UEFA club competitions to form a network to improve matchday experiences across the continent.

Since the 2012/13 season, teams competing in UEFA men's club competitions have been mandated to appoint a dedicated SLO, recognising the importance of fostering constructive relationships between clubs, governing bodies and fans.

SLOs act as a crucial bridge between fans and the club or national association, facilitating dialogue, communication and building trust. Used properly, their impact extends beyond relations, influencing decision-making and ultimately enhancing the experience of all involved in the game.

Since 2020, the UEFA Academy also offers a dedicated SLO education programme to develop the knowledge, skills and tools needed to thrive in the position.

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