Augsburg Fan Projekt

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Bundesliga, Germany
Tags: , , , , ,

To find out more about fan projekts, mentioned by Andy Hudson in this article, we spoke to Dennis Galanti of the Augsburg Fan Projekt.

Das Boot: What exactly is the purpose of a fans projekt?

Dennis Galanti: The purpose of a fan projekt is on the one side preventive social work with teenage and young adult football fans. And this has to do on the other side with the support of young football fans subculture – like Ultras, Supporter Groups etc – because they are very attractive for young fans. In Augsburg this means that we help young fans with normal day or with football specific problems. It´s a kind of empowerment social work, that tries to find ways of expression for their subculture. To carry out this work we have a room for meetings, workshops, to make flags etc. We are also organizing over a year a couple of projects e.g. football tournaments for young people, workshops etc. Very important for us is anti-racist work.

DB: How do fans projekts work with the club?

DG: Our fans project works with the club on fan specific topics and they support us in the work with young fans. This means that the club works with us on fan issues and security issues and is helping us in the realisation of projects, workshops etc. It`s for example possible for us to get a player for discussions or workshops.

DB: What has your projekt specifically been involved in?

DG: We are specifically involved in anti-racist work in Augsburg. For us this has to do with violence prevention. We are organizing workshops and informational meetings on racism and work for tolerance. In the summer we are organizing our 4th ‘Copa Augusta Antiracista’ – an anti-racist fan tournament.

DB: Do you think something similar could work in England?

DG: I think it`s possible, but like in Germany this would have great regional differences. The fans projects in Germany have really great regional differences, because of structural reasons – social workers, rooms, city, money etc. – and of subcultural reasons – fan/ultragroups, hooligans, crowd, political expression etc. A question for me is: is there a football movement in the moment in England that is attractive for young fans? So if traditional supporter groups or also hooligan groups or new forms of organisation are attractive for young fans it think it`s also possible to make a more subcultural way of work.

DB: What are your feelings on the 50+1 rule?

DG: The 50+1 rule is an important rule for traditional football fans to defend the identity of their clubs. Realistically it seems to be problematic to keep the rule alive for lawful reasons within the European Union. So in my opinion football fans and clubs have to find another ways to keep German football tradition alive. There are a couple of initiatives, also in Augsburg, that try to force their clubs to implement an 50+1 rule in their statute or a membership vote for things like club names, colors, shirts etc. Very interesting.

Many thanks to Dennis for taking the time to answer our questions. You can visit the Augsburg Fan Projekt website here.

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