Presentations from the We're in the Final event at the Committee of the Regions, Brussels 


The presentations from the final conference of the FREE project (Footbal Research in an Enlarged Europe) «We’re in the Final !» are now available for download.

These three presentations focused on the aspects for research from the project which have most policy relevance: the limited place given to women in football; issues of governance and their relevance to supporters; & the contribution (or not) of the so-called beautiful game to the constitution of a European public sphere.

The programme of the conference and names of the participants can be found below. PDF of the presentations can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

Introduction: Scope and Objectives of the Conference

  • Laurent Thieule (Committee of the Regions, President of Sport and Citizenship)
  • Philippe Keraudren (European Commission, DG Research)
Introductory keynote:
‘Football’s evident and hidden policy relevance’
by Albrecht Sonntag (ESSCA School of Management, FREE project coordinator)

Session 1: Still a Man’s Game? Challenges for Women in Football in Europe

Presentation of research findings: ‘Still a Man’s Game?’
by Gertrud Pfister (University of Copenhagen & FREE Project)

Roundtable discussion on female fans and women’s football in Europe
  • Alexandre Mestre (President of the ‘Women and Sport’ network of Sport and Citizenship)
  • Sandra Schwedler (President of the Board of FC Sankt Pauli)
  • Stacey Pope (Researcher, Durham University)
  • Marie-Luise Klein (Researcher, Ruhr-University Bochum)
  • Debate moderated by Dàvid Ranc (ESSCA School of Management & FREE project)

Session 2: Whose Game Is It? Governance and Stakeholders in European football

Presentation of research findings ‘Whose Game Is It?’
by Borja García García (Loughborough University & FREE Project)

Roundtable discussion on stakeholders & governance of European football
  • William Gaillard (Special Advisor to the President, UEFA)
  • Zenon Severis (European Commission, sports unit)
  • Dariusz Łapiński (Polish Football Association)
  • Heidi Thaler (Koordinationsstelle Fanprojekte, Frankfurt)
  • Debate moderated by Jürgen Mittag (German Sport University Cologne)

Session 3: The Public Sphere of European Football

Presentation of research findings on the public sphere of European football
by Özgehan Şenyuva (Middle East Technical University & FREE Project)

Roundtable discussion with FREE consortium members of findings from anthropological, historical and political research on European football:
  • Football and European integration: a public sphere of a different kind
  • A common memory in the making: football’s cultural heritage
  • Commonality and diversity: the continental fault lines of European football
  • Football, migration and flexible identities: fluid communities and loyalties
  • Football’s continental mega events: recommendations for the future
  • Debate moderated by Albrecht Sonntag (ESSCA School of Management & FREE Project)

Conclusion and Outlook

  • Jonathan Michael Hill (Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics)
  • Simon Kuper (writer)
  • Albrecht Sonntag (ESSCA School of Management & FREE Project)
Please click here to read «The Public Sphere of European Football» Summary of findings from historical, political, sociological & anthropological research strands on the Public Sphere 2015 by Özgehan Şenyuva
Please click here to read «Whose Game is It?» Summary of research findings on football stakeholders and governance by Borja García, Jo Welford & Brett Smith
Please click here to read «Still a man’s game?» Summary of research findings on women in football by Gertrud Pfister & Svenja Mintert