During the past weekend, the Fans Matter Program was kicked off. This will be the fourth project since 2012, co-sponsored by the European Union and UEFA, and managed by SD Europe.
During the project, that will last two years, fan organizations, football associations and fan-run football clubs from eight different countries will participate in workshops, trainings and information exchange, all in order to improve the resources available to fan-run football clubs and supporting organizations that are involved in club management.
The main aim of the project is to support and upgrade clubs that are managed by fans, in order for these clubs to operate in an efficient, organized and communal way.
The series of workshops will assist in creating experts in every country, which will support fan organizations and fan groups with local authorities. In addition, knowledge and information will be provided to club management, staff and volunteers in order for them to make the best decisions for the club or organization.
During the project, which is also taken part by the Italian and Spanish football associations, there will be exchange visits between the associations in order to understand the processes in each country, and enhance cooperation and information sharing between the countries.
The event was also attended by representatives from UEFA, Germany, Spain, Cyprus, Italy, North Africa, and conference host Belgium.
In Israel, cooperation will take place between the Israeli FA and ‘The Stand – The Israeli Sports Club Fan Organization’. ‘The Stand’ operates to represent all sports-club fans in Israel, with emphasis on representing the football-club fans in the country. The organization works for promoting the rights of Israeli sports fans, and promotion of topics such as transparency in sports teams, fan involvement in teams, price regulation, game broadcast times, elimination of violence and racism in Israeli sports, and more.
The representatives from Israel that took part in the launch in Brussels were: Shai Golov, ‘The Stand’ founder; Eitan Dotan, IFA Content Manager and Press Officer; Ron Feldhaim, Kiryat Ata youth-department Manager and Ha’poel Haifa Basketball CEO and Daphna Goldshmdit Cohen, Ha’poel Katamon Jerusalem Chairwoman.