Partially sighted and blind fans will be able to tune into a dedicated audio-descriptive commentary at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille from this Tuesday onwards.

Audio-descriptive commentary was introduced into French football stadiums at UEFA EURO 2016, when the service was made available at all matches during the Finals.

CAFE delivered the official UEFA EURO 2016 Respect Access for All project, which included training local media and broadcast students to deliver audio-descriptive commentary.

After UEFA EURO 2016, the audio-descriptive commentary equipment was donated to the host stadia to continue to provide the service in legacy of the Finals.

Audio-descriptive commentary will be available for all Lille matches played at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, starting with this Tuesday’s match against Caen. Listeners can tune into the service using their own personal radios and devices on frequency 107.1 FM.

Two of the commentators trained during the UEFA EURO 2016 Respect Access for All project, Augustin Bouquet des Chaux and Youmni Kezzouf, will be providing the service.

CAFE Managing Director Joanna Deagle said, “Many congratulations to everyone involved in making this happen in Lille. This is a tremendous legacy of UEFA EURO 2016 and will result in many more partially sighted and blind fans being able to enjoy an inclusive experience”.

“We are also delighted to hear that Augustin and Youmni will continue to use the skills they developed ahead of UEFA EURO 2016 to provide this service going forwards”.

What is audio-descriptive commentary?

Audio-descriptive commentary is a dedicated matchday service for partially sighted and blind spectators, though it is also enjoyed by many non-disabled people.

The specially trained commentator provides additional narration that describes all significant visual information such as body language, facial expression, scenery, action, clothing, colours and anything else that is important to conveying the image, venue, match, event or surrounding ambience.

During the match, the audio-descriptive commentator describes the on-pitch action rather than talking about statistics or tactics or providing lengthy summaries of previous action.

For further information about audio-descriptive commentary, or if you are interested in implementing the service at your club or venue, please email CAFE at [email protected].

A version of this article is also available in German and French.

Published 25/11/2016