testFrom 19 to 22 July 2018, supporters representatives from over 20 European countries met in the Asturian seaside city for the second edition of FSE’s Summer Network Meeting.

The 2018 edition was hosted by UNIPES - the second largest coordination of Peñas in Gijón with 42 member organisations, in association with the national umbrella organisation FASFE. Together they organised an extensive programme which allowed the participants to discover Spanish fan activism, discuss the common challenges faced by all away fans in Spain and exchanges good practices based on various European experiences.

Football policing and other security-related issues were amongst the main topics discussed by the participants, in relation with the upcoming reform of the Spanish Sports Law and FSE’s current work on the improvement of the hosting conditions for away fans in the European club competitions.

Participants were invited to exchange views with representatives of FSE and its partner organisations (SD Europe and CAFE), Spanish supporters organisations (UNIPES, FASFE, Brigada Amarillas, fan-owned club UC Ceares) and Spanish sport stakeholders (Royal Spanish Football Federation, Real Sporting de Gijón, Asturian Regional Government). National supporters organisations from England & Wales (FSF), The Netherlands (Supporterscollectief) and France (ANS) also took part in the debates.

The organisers offered plenty of room for networking and social activities, as participants also had the opportunity to visit Spain’s oldest stadium El Molinón, home of Sporting Gijón, or enjoy an evening at UD Industrial Gijón, a fan-owned club where they experienced a warm welcome and learned the special art of serving the Sidra Asturiana. A closing party at La Pura Vida Beach Club by Gijón’s beautiful waterfront rounded up the Summer Network Meeting 2018.

Ronan Evain, Executive Director of FSE, stated: “FSE would like to thank the local organisers for their fantastic work. It’s been a very enjoyable event, with some high level discussions on the future of active fandom in Spain. UNIPES and FASFE offered a programme which allowed all participants to appreciate the challenges faced by Spanish fans and contribute to the discussion on potential solutions. We do hope that Gijón’s Summer Network Meeting will have a long lasting legacy and a positive impact in the future role played by football fans representatives in the upcoming reform of Spanish football.”

Adrián Núñez Corte, Vice-President of UNIPES, added: “It’s been a pleasure to host supporters from all over Europe and representatives of major Spanish fans organisations in Gijón. We had inspiring discussions and lively debates, which should leave a lasting impression on all Spanish participants. The situation of Spanish fans rights is one of the most critical in Europe but we hope that we will be able to influence the future Sports Law and slowly improve things.”

FSE is now expecting to reinforce its activities in Spain in order to support the work of FASFE and reach acceptable safety and security conditions for visiting fans at UEFA club competitions. With the help of various SNM speakers, FSE will also develop legal guidelines for foreign visiting fans.

Looking back at a successful event, FSE is already starting the preparations for its 2019 European Football Fans Congress. Call for applications will be published on FSE website within the next two weeks.


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