Thanks to the last minute goal by David Alaba, 2-2 was the final score between Ireland and Austria at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It was absolutely pissing down in the stadium as 35.000 spectators witnessed the Austrian team make Giovanni Trapattoni freak out just before the final whistle. I have never heard so many throats screaming the F*** word while in the meantime the Austrians were celebrating like there was no tomorrow. This is the story of my first Fan Embassy in my role as Project Coordinator following our big success at the EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
On Friday the 22nd March Denmark played a World Cup qualifying match against the Czech Republic – Fans’ Embassy Denmark went along with the Danish fans. The match had been placed in the town of Olomouc at Andrův Stadium with a capacity of 12.566 spectators. Danish tourists have for several years travelled to the city of Prague, but going to Olomouc – 252 km east of Prague – was a new experience for the 751 Danes who had bought tickets to see the match.
The project will be implemented by the Football Supporters Europe (FSE), an independent, representative and democratically organised network of football fans in Europe with members in 41 countries across the continent.
It is the first time since Euro 2008 that the Austrian fans traveling to Ireland can take advantage of a Fans’ Embassy service. The Fans’ Embassy Austria will be working from 25 to 27 March in Dublin. A team of six fan experts and fan workers from Austria and Ireland offer two service points in the city, street work, a fanzine, a 24-hour helpline, a Twitter fan ticker and information on Facebook!
With spring coming to Europe, the Fans’ Embassy programme reaches the next stage of preparations: At meetings in Kyiv and Donetsk the teams in the host cities and from the international Fans’ Embassies took stock.
Since EURO 2012 things have been kind of busy for the Danish team behind Fans’ Embassy Denmark. We are still trying to become a household name, looking at possibilities for funding, and making contacts to relevant partners.
After four weeks of Host City Meetings to prepare for their engagement in June Fans' Embassy representatives from all over Europe are satisfied with what they have seen and learned during their visits.
We are the Italian Fans’ Embassy and started our work in 2000 for the Belgium/Netherland´s Euro. Since then, we always tried to get in contact with the Italian FA, but they weren´t interested in working with us. The only help we got from them were some gadgets to distribute to the fans during Euro 2000, 2004 and the World Cup 2006 in Germany.
Today marks the beginning of a four week process as supporters groups from across Europe begin their preparations for Euro 2012 in earnest. Representatives from supporter organisations in England, Sweden and France are the first to embark on the programme, co-ordinated by the Football Supporters Europe network (FSE), which will help them get ready for their visit to Ukraine in the summer.
Football Supporters Europe (FSE) organises the following fan-oriented Action Days for Respect and against Discrimination in all four Polish host cities at the UEFA EURO 2012 in the framework of the Football for Equality project:
The countdown to the European Championships has begun in earnest, with today's draw giving fans the first glimpse of the teams they will be facing and the places they will be going in June and July next year.