Sport Conventions

The International Conference on Ultras – Good practices in dealing with new developments in supporters’ behaviour

Vienna (Austria); 17-18 February 2010

"Friendly match" between ultra supporters and police officers staged by the Council of Europe
Supporters’ representatives from across Europe, including supporters’ associations and ultra groups invited by Football Supporters Europe (FSE), and those responsible for policing and security in stadiums as well as representatives of governments will come together, for the first time at international level, to initiate dialogue aimed at improving mutual understanding and preventing problems, such as violent incidents, at football matches.

Gaining a better understanding of the ultra phenomenon, improving communication and addressing problems between supporters, sporting bodies and police, preventing incidents in and outside stadiums and capitalising on the involvement of supporters in the football world are the objectives pursued by the conference. University lecturers, researchers and social workers will help shed light on these different questions.

Who are the ultras? How is the "ultra mentality" to be defined? How does their behaviour differ from that of the other supporters? Where does the negative image of ultras come from? Does it have an impact on how police deal with ultras? Are measures taken adequate or problematic? A Council of Europe study, carried out on a Europe-wide scale and giving a behind-the-scenes insight into the ultra movement, has just been published and gives us some pointers.

The conference is organised within the framework of monitoring of the implementation of the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches (1985). The Convention was drawn up in the wake of the Heysel stadium tragedy and is a reference today for the preparation of football tournaments including at world level.

The discussions will contribute to the Council of Europe's preparation of a Recommendation on the Ultras aimed at improving dialogue and cooperation between all those involved.

Final programme
(revised on 2 March 2010)

Overview of the Ultra culture phenomenon in Europe (Pilz and Wölki-Schumacher)
(English, French, German)

Compilation of contributions

Executive Summary

Council of Europe normative framework on violence in sport

Special focus on the role of the social and educative measures in the prevention of violence in sport (Rec 2003/1)

Other relevant documents

A press conference will be given on Wednesday 17 February at 10.30 am by Maria Fekter, Federal Minister of the Interior, and Ralf-René Weingärtner, Director of Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe.

Interview with Daniela Wurbs, Football Supporters Europe (FSE)
Interview with Jo Vanhecke, Director of the Football Unit of the Belgian Ministry of the Interior, member of the EU Think Tank on football safety and security

Contact at the Council of Europe
Pierre Masson
Tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 30 08
E-mail :

Frédérique Privat de Fortunié
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 28 35
E-mail: or

Press contacts:
Estelle Steiner, Council of Europe
Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 33 35

Contact at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior
Maximilian Prinz
Tel: +43 (0)1 31 310 85512

Dietmar Kogler
Tel: +43 (0)1 53 126 3110

Press contacts:
Gerhard Brenner, Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior
Tel. +43 (0)1 53 126 33 52,