Israfans was launched in 2007 as a reaction to empty terraces, poor communication with the police, which often resulted in violence, and a strong sense of alienation between the fans and the management of the clubs they support. Israfans represents 25 supporter clubs and fan projects in Israel, most of them belonging to clubs at the first two divisions. The group is independent and aims to serve as a permanent framework for all supporters’ clubs and has a constructive relationship with IFA.
Our main issues cover ownership and governance and then ticket pricing, policing and empowering the supporters’ clubs. Israfans assists supporters clubs following Supporters Direct and the German model of the fan projects. The group promotes supporters representation on the boards of their clubs, supporters rights and positive fan culture in general; assisting the authorities with the fight against violence and racism in sport and to encourage and strengthen the relationships between the clubs and their communities.
Israfans has sought help from Supporters Direct in advising groups on forming responsible organizations to become actively involved in the governance of their clubs and is currently developing a handbook for trust initiatives.
- To advise supporters groups on ownership and governance – like Supporters Direct in the UK and in the rest of Europe.
- Promoting supporters rights in all fields of sports
- To encourage and strengthen the relations between the clubs and their communities
- Promote positive fan culture in Israel.
- Assisting the authorities with the fight against violence and racism in sport
- Establish a dialogue with the Israeli Football Association and the Ministry of Sports
Around 25 groups and fans projects (websites, social initiatives) from the first two divisions (see annex)
In order to do so Israfans
- Give professional advice to the members
- Israfans had professional course of 10 meetings that included various tools – legal, community etc.
- Initiated pilot program of supporters community leadership with the local municipality and youth center of Petach Tikva, in order to empower Hapoel Petach Tikva Supporters trust
- Organizes exchanges with supporters’ groups in Europe
- Assist the four supporters owner clubs
- Promotes an official recognition and support from the sport office
- Official member as an observer at the Israeli national council of fighting violence in sport
- Initiated at 2007 joint project with the IFA to reduce the ticket prices in the First division.
- Suggested solutions for the relationship between the supporters and the police. This plan has been presented to governmental bodies.
- Having exchanges of supporters delegation with Berlin and Werder Bremen
Members of Israfans
1. Ha'maktesh- Hapoel Ramat Gan Supporters organization
2. Hapoel Petach Tikva supporters union
3. The Negev Pride – Hapoel Beer Sheva Fans
4. Maccabi Natanya supporters trust
5. The Green Heart – Hapoel Kfar Saba
6. Beitar Jerusalem supporters trust
7. Hapoel Tel Aviv – workers in red
8. Hapoel Katamon social initiative
9. MHFC – Maccabi Haifa
10. The Box – Maccabi Natanya
11. Football State
12. Gate 5 – Hapoel Haifa (on process to establish trust)
13. Green Vein – Hapoel Kfar Saba
14. The 12 player – Maccabi Tel Aviv
15. Ultras Maccabi – Maccabi Tel Aviv
16. Dolphins – S.C. Ashdod
17. The blue frontier – Hapoel Petach Tikva
18. Panters – Hapoel Petach Tikva
19. Crazy reds – Hapoel Beer Sheva
20. The Camels – Hapoel Beer Sheva
21. Judah Lions – Bnei Yehuda
22. Men is Blue – Maccabi Petach Tikva
23. Ultras Saknin – Bnei Saknin
24. Ahi Nazereth supporter club- Ahi Nazereth
25. Orangizers – Hapoel Rishon Lezion
26. Blue Wave – national team supporters club
Who are we/about us: Consistent General deterioration of the Israeli footba
ll for the past two decades, reached to an all time low in 2007 as far as the fans were concerned – empty terraces, poor communication with the police, which often resulted in violence, and topping all – a strong sense of alienation between the fans and the clubs' management. The fan organization Israfans was formed out of that constellation in order to promote the interests football supporters in particular and to benefit the Israeli football and sport in general.
In order to prevent from the organization from becoming affiliated with any specific club, it was decided that it will be independent so it could rally the unconditional support of the fans in order to serve as a permanent framework for all supporter clubs. Main issues presently addressed by the organization:
2.Regulation of police contacts
3.Strengthening supporters club – conduction of fans census, and professional knowledge
Our activity focuses both on the national level alongside assisting the supporter clubs according to the English (Supportes Direct) and German (Fan Project) models.
Promoting supporters rights in all fields of sports
Nurturing sport culture of supporters in Israel.
Assisting the authorities with the fight against violence and racism in sport
To encourage and strengthen the relations between the clubs and their communities
The vision: To bring back the joy to both Israeli football.
In recent years the Israeli football had been characterized by a declining amount of fans in the stadiums. In a survey conducted among the supports in the Israeli first division, supporters named the high prices of the tickets as one of the main reasons for their absence.
Led by Israfans, several meetings were held with the supporter clubs, debating on the course of action, which resulted in a policy paper. This paper guides our efforts in all matters related to the pricing.
This policy paper was later presented by Israfans before all the clubs in the Israeli first division and the Israeli football association. As a consequence a pilot for lowering the prices of the tickets in all the games of Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv throughout season 2007/8 was initiated, resulting in a unprecedentedly success.
Supporter club's organization – The basic axiom common to all fans around the world is that football teams are their spiritual possession. In spite of that, many owners disregard this axiom, often regarding the fans more as a burden rather than an asset. Encouraged by a global movement/trend sweeping all over Europe, Israfans had committed itself to help return football clubs back to the supporters by issuing an urgent call to all supporters clubs in Israel to cooperate and conduct supporters' census within their ranks. These censuses are planned to become the foundation for an organization, whose elected supporters will serve as representatives when dealing with the managements. Israfans is also welcoming any ideas brought up by the supporters clubs, which may lead to a positive change in the way managements deal with the organizations and the general public.
Aiming to fulfill our commitment, Israfans had already initiated several supporters' censuses
The first census, "The Blue Census", was conducted by the fans of Hapoel Petah Tikva. Although it received minimal media coverage, the census was relatively successful, as 2000 supporters were listed, belonging to all circles of the supporters. Today they function as the roof organization for the entire Hapoel Petah Tikva fans, representing them when dealing with the management.
Tension between the police and the crowd are often experienced by supporters all around the world. In an attempt to regulate the police-supporters interaction, Israfans is promoting a plan devised by many of the supporters clubs in Israel, emphasizing solutions to the problems arising from this interaction. The plan had been presented in front of the interoffice committee that deals with sport related violence, in which Israfans is a permanent member, as well as in the media.
The main principals of the plan are:
Supporting items – Regulation of entering procedures of supporting items into the terraces, including resolution for the torches issue, banners etc.
Clarity and cooperation on behalf of the police with the supporters clubs-
Banning any police activity within the stadiums without name tags.
Clarifying/Establishing proper working procedures of policemen at the terraces.
Improving relationships between the police and the supporters organizations by Involving responsible supporter representatives when debriefing of extreme events related to the fans.
Increasing the number of open entering gates to the stadiums.
Appropriate dealing with violent fans. Isolation and removal of violent fans.
In addition, Israfans keeps close monitoring of the behavior of policemen in the terraces.
As a mean to promote and empower supporters in Israel, Israfans organizes delegations of supporters to Europe and vice versa. These delegations are also used as a mean to expose Israeli supporters from variety of clubs, to the European supporting heritage. During these delegations seminars and workshops are held in variety of fields common to all supporters around the globe: Fighting violence in sports, supporters' rights, similarity and dissimilarity in police-supporters interaction and different paths of interaction with the management.
The project began with a delegation of members of the Verder Bremen Fan Projekt in Germany, accompanied by the teams' Ultras. An Israeli delegation repaid a visit few months later.
Israfans serves as the voice of the mutual needs of 22 supporter clubs and fan projects in Israel, most of them belonging to teams at the first two divisions.