UEFA have formally recognised football supporters as central stakeholders in the game by signing a binding agreement with Football Supporters Europe (FSE).
At the European body’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland yesterday UEFA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Football Supporters Europe, the umbrella organisation that represents supporter organisations across the continent.
The agreement outlines both organisations’ commitment to the European football pyramid, including the central role of federations in overseeing the organisation and functioning of the sport, the open system of promotion and relegation within domestic leagues culminating with qualification to European competitions.
This agreement, particularly around UEFA’s commitment to a Europe-wide pyramid, is another nail in the coffin for the failed European Super League project.
Executive director for FSE Ronan Evain, said: “Today is an exciting milestone for FSE.
“The MOU demonstrates that UEFA understands the value and importance of football fans, whether it’s through protecting the future of European football, helping supporters have influence within their clubs and at national level, protecting human rights, or raising awareness around the positive contribution that supporters make to the game.
“We believe the joint commitments of the agreement will benefit all fans and we are excited to begin a new chapter of work together.”
The MOU formalises a relationship that has existed between the two organisations since 2008. Both parties say the agreement specifies key joint priorities including initiatives to safeguard and enhance fan experience while attending football matches in UEFA club and national team competitions, the promotion and integration of the supporter liaison officer (SLO) role, and the development of structured fan dialogue policies at national level across Europe.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “Without the continued loyalty of football fans, the game would not enjoy its success and popularity.
“UEFA is committed to ensuring that the needs and viewpoints of fans are a key consideration. Today’s landmark agreement shows that here at UEFA this is not an empty sentiment.
“We look forward to working with Football Supporters Europe on behalf of football fans in the years to come to ensure the game is a safe, secure, and welcoming place for all.”