CAFE gets the first win of UEFA EURO 2012


The tournament charity of UEFA EURO 2012, The Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE), has received vital funds from UEFA to continue its work in promoting and delivering inclusive football stadiums in Poland and Ukraine whilst ensuring those who face physical, sensory and intellectual barriers can access the game.


UEFA’s EURO 2012 Charity Ticket Sales Programme enabled supporters to purchase high quality seats for various matches at EURO 2012 via a special charity auction, with all monies raised beyond the face value of the ticket donated to CAFE.  The programme proved to be hugely successful with some seats attracting bids of ten times the face value, resulting in a total of €175k for CAFE.


In addition, CAFE has received €360k to carry out work in Poland and Ukraine under the umbrella of the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion initiative.  The initiative, which is part of UEFA’s wider RESPECT campaign, aims to help ensure that disabled supporters attending UEFA EURO 2012 can enjoy the tournament through full access to sports facilities and public spaces.


Joyce Cook OBE, Managing Director of CAFE comments: 


“It’s the most amazing news to hear about the amount raised through the charity ticket auction and to learn that some people had bid as much as 10 times the face value for tickets for our charity project. People really do care about inclusion and improving access for disabled fans and that’s encouraging to know.”


UEFA has also announced that it will donate €3k to CAFE for every goal scored in the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament and football followers and other benefactors are being encouraged to also donate for upcoming schemes. Donations can be made online or by post and details can be found @


The funds raised will be invested in various local projects and initiatives in Poland and Ukraine after the tournament to continue the work already undertaken to improve access for disabled fans under the umbrella of the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion project. These will include the setting up of audio-descriptive commentary services during matches for blind and partially-sighted supporters and workshops for clubs and stadiums to help to raise access standards and by sharing good practice examples. Additionally, small grants will be made available to local disability groups to assist the setting up of a disabled fans' network at club and national level and to implement awareness initiatives aiming to improve access for disabled fans.


Joyce added:


“We’re already making a difference with the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect inclusion project - the social and access changes we’ve been able to influence so far in both countries have been ground-breaking but we still have more to do!”


UEFA partnered with UK based charity CAFE to ensure disabled supporters enjoy full access to sports facilities and public spaces during UEFA EURO 2012.  The work on improving accessibility for disabled people will extend beyond the tournament to ensure a long lasting legacy in Poland and Ukraine.


For further information about CAFE please visit and



Media enquiries to Chris Bird at or +44 (0)7790 227 770 or to David Furnival on



Editor Notes


CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe) was created via UEFA's Monaco Charity Award in 2009.

CAFE has been created to promote and ensure equal access across UEFA's region. CAFE is providing support, guidance and advice to all of our partners and stakeholders.  As well as the UK, CAFE now has offices and staff operating in both Poland and Ukraine.


Stakeholders include the European Commission (through CEN), the Council of Europe (through EPAS), UEFA as the governing body, national Football Associations and their leagues and member clubs, EURO partners, disabled supporters, their advocates, carers and personal assistants, disabled supporter groups, other national and European diversity and supporter networks such as FARE, , disability Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other interested organizations.

CAFE's aims are inclusivity and equality of experience, and because football embraces diversity in all its forms, CAFE is working with the football family and its partners to raise disability awareness more widely throughout Europe. Part of our mission is to help empower disabled people to exercise their rights.


UEFA EURO 2012 – RESPECT Inclusion project




Good access is essential for disabled people to be able to exercise their rights and to participate fully in society. UEFA EURO 2012 is working with CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe) to manage three separate RESPECT Inclusion initiatives.


Under the “Football with No Limits” initiative, access information will be provided to disabled fans and visitors by the means of a tailor-made guide. Through the “Showcase games” project run by Special Olympics in Poland and the National Sports Committee for Disabled People in Ukraine, disabled people will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their sports skills by competing in football matches before each quarter-final game. Finally, CAFÉ has been appointed as the official tournament charity of UEFA EURO 2012 with all funds raised being dedicated to continuing CAFE’s works with the support of local partners to improve access for disabled fans still further in legacy.


The project aims to support the two host countries in delivering accessible stadia for UEFA EURO 2012 as well as helping to improve access to local businesses (such as banks, hotels, restaurants) so by providing improved facilities and services for disabled people during the tournament and in legacy. Respect Inclusion has provided new life skills to disabled young people, as well as preparing reliable access information for disabled fans and visitors of the tournament.




Some of the project’s activities have included the setting up of access advisory groups in Poland and Ukraine and the measuring of access to public spaces and local businesses in each host city and by providing them with advice on improving access to their premises. The project has awarded disability friendly zones and encouraged healthy competition between local businesses. Audio-descriptive commentary was also introduced to the region for the first time in Poland and Ukraine with 50 volunteers trained to provide this service for partially sighted and blind fans at each host stadium during the tournament and at future football matches in both countries. This will enable blind and partially sighted fans to enjoy the match experience more fully whilst leaving a ground-breaking legacy service at each host stadium.