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 at

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

A version of this article is also available in Ukrainian and Polish.

Published 11/06/2012