The various fan groups around Europe brought their own twist to the Football People weeks, with creative events bringing activism to the forefront of the campaign.
The Football People weeks are Europe’s largest social change movement in sport, involving over 100,000 people including national associations, FAs, professional clubs and grassroots organisations around the world. Included in this, and bringing their own flavour to the Football People party, were fan groups.
For an example, take Austria. There, Antifa Döbling looked at far-right rhetoric across Europe in the form of a panel discussion that focused on the values of tradition, strength, masculinity and honour within football fan culture.
The event discussed the similarities between fans who express these values, which can follow a far-right rhetoric, and how different they are to ordinary football fans. Special guest Antje Grabenhorst from Bremen, Germany attended the event along with other antifa organisations based in Vienna.
In Spain, Xerez C.D. fan group Kolectivo Sur prepared a choreo at one of the club’s home matches scheduled during the #FootballPeople weeks. Kolectivo Sur also organised a workshop for people from different cultures to attend and share their experiences and an anti-racism football tournament.
FOOTBALL FOR EQUALITY
Jornadas @farenet organizadas por nuestro grupo con coreografía contra el racismo y exclusión junto con la entrega de equipaciones para asociación de trabajo por la inclusión social a través del deporte#FootballPeople @fare_es pic.twitter.com/GVLexsC9QS
— Kolectivo Sur (@KolectivoSur91) November 2, 2018
In Germany, Duisburg based fan group Zebras stehen auf e.V. held three workshops aimed at giving participants an insight into the way victims of discrimination are made to feel after being subjected to abuse. Participants were also given useful information on how to react when confronted with discrimination.
Hallo Zebras,in allerbester Laune möchten wir euch nochmal daran erinnern, dass das Fanprojekt Duisburg heute Abend um…
In England Kirklees Sports For All held a free football tournament and fun day for asylum seekers and refugees in West Yorkshire, creating a welcoming environment to help those settling within local communities.
We are proud to be involved in #FootballPeople football weeks & we have arranged an event for all asylum seekers/refugees to come in and play football for free – Mon 22nd Oct from 11am-3pm #footballpeople #kirklees pic.twitter.com/9mbHRFfcT8
— Kick Off Dewsbury (@KickoffDews) October 12, 2018
While the subjects and content of the events held by fan groups were as diverse as the various countries from which the groups themselves originate, at the heart of them they all had one core theme: anti-discrimination and inclusion for all.