Belfast Telegraph

Local fans to host football seminar for the first time

by Chris McCann

The Irish FA’S Community Relations Department in conjunction with the AONISC (Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs), are hosting the first ever Football For All International Fans Seminar.

With support from UEFA and the EU, members of the Green and White Army will welcome fellow football fans from across Europe to Belfast this month for an International Fans Seminar — the first of its kind here.

The seminar will also be host to some of the most notable speakers from across Europe such as Piara Power of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), Keith Ferguson from Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFÉ) and Dani Wurbs from Football Supporters Europe (FSE), along with the initiator and spokesman for the European Football Supporters Award Phillipe Housiaux. In 2006 the Amalgamation won the EU and UEFA endorsed, Brussels International Supporters Award.

So this year the Amalgamation, along with Irish FA’s Community Relations Department decided to organise an event in partnership with the fans, for the fans in the spirit of recognition and shared knowledge to continue combating racism and bigotry in football.

The Irish FA’s Head of Community Relations, Michael Boyd said: “This seminar will help us build on the unbelievable progress made so far and will help build on good relations with fans from across Europe.”

Gary McAllister, spokesperson for the Amalgamation said: “I'm delighted that the Amalgamation can help play host to football supporters from other nations as part of the Fans Seminar. This event will allow us to listen to the experiences of fans from throughout Europe and to tell them about some of the work that we do. As a member of the 'Football Supporters Europe' network, this is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about Northern Ireland football fans.”

The event will take place at the Madrona Suite, Ramada Hotel, Shaws Bridge, Belfast on Friday November 19, 2pm – 6pm; Saturday 20 November: 10am–12.30pm.

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