Disabled supporters at CSKA Moscow have come together to form a pan-disability group representing the club's disabled fans.

Disabled supporters associations, or DSAs, are user-led groups, providing disabled fans the opportunity to represent their own interests and build a relationship with their clubs. This self-representation helps to further empower disabled fans, and influence club decisions relating to access and inclusion.

The group at CSKA Moscow first came together in November 2017, and has already established a strong and supportive relationship with the club. Several new members have already joined the group, including a dedicated social media officer to promote their activities.

CSKA DSA was created with the main aim of uniting members through activities aimed at creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all CSKA supporters.

Members of the group also attended the third International CAFE Conference 2018 in Bilbao, meeting with stakeholders from across Europe and participating in panel sessions and discussions.

DSA Chair Elena Popova said, "From our own experiences, we continue to see the power of football to change lives. We believe through this DSA and attending matches, disabled fans at CSKA Moscow can be empowered and better integrated into society. It only takes one visit to the stadium to immerse yourself in the matchday atmosphere and it is impossible not to be hooked".

"By attending live matches, disabled people have a reason to leave the house more often and to express themselves, expand their social circles and, most importantly, enjoy life!", added Elena.

CSKA DSA is working with local disability organisations in Moscow and has already made a number of plans for 2019, including participating in the upcoming CAFE Week of Action.

The group will also continue to work to improve the matchday experience at VEB Arena, create an accessible stadium tour and work with the club to ensure that the kids zone and half-time entertainment zones are all fully accessible.

Furthermore, CSKA DSA plans to organise inclusive events with members of the group and the CSKA Fan Club, carry out a survey of the club's disabled fans and invite new disabled fans to attend their first ever matches.

You can follow CSKA DSA on Instagram @cskadsa or on VK at https://vk.com/cskadsa. A new Twitter account has also been created @cskadsa, and you can email the DSA on [email protected].

A huge congratulations to everyone at CSKA DSA, and the very best of luck for the future!

To find out more about how you can establish a disabled supporters association at your club, download the CAFE DSA Information Pack here.

Published 19/02/2019