The Centre for Access to Football in Europe held our first European conference on 24-25 September 2011 at Wembley Stadium, London.

The theme for the conference was 'Total Football, Total Access', and the aim was to highlight the importance of good access to stadiums for football fans.

We welcomed over 170 delegates from all across Europe, and a number of high-profile speakers from many different backgrounds. Highlights of the event included the first 'twinning' of two disabled supporters associations - Hibernian FC and FC Groningen - as well as the launch of the Good Practice Guide. This document was co-produced by CAFE and UEFA, and we hope that it will provide essential advice on what exactly is 'good access'.

We also welcomed many huge names from the world of football, such as CAFE Chairman David Bernstein, England international defender Danny Mills and former Manchester United winger Danny Wallace. They were joined by Polish legend Dariusz Dziekanowski, former Chelsea captain Paul Elliott and ex-Scottish midfielder Tony Higgins. Representatives of UEFA and some of Europe's biggest clubs were also present.

Delegate Testimonials

Allan MacKillop, DSA, Scotland: Just a note of thanks for what was a very insightful and thought provoking weekend. We were treated wonderfully well by all the staff involved at Wembley – please pass on my personal thanks to them.  If I can ever be of assistance to Café in the future, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Howard Holmes, FURD and FARE: The CAFE conference was excellent. Well done - all that hard work paid off!

Colin Chaytors, Chair, FA DEAG: Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the conference. Congratulations to you and the rest of the team on an excellent event, everyone I spoke to had a great time and found the speakers and topics really interesting. Well done!!

Piara Powar, FARE: Many congratulations. Everyone is in awe of your achievements around the conference.

Ciara Evans, Mencap: It was lovely to meet you on Saturday at the Cafe Conference. I really enjoyed the day. I enjoyed the tour of the stadium too. I thought that the conference was very well organised. I liked meeting Danny Mills and Danny Wallace. I thought that they were really good role models for people with a disability.

Alan Montgomery, football fan: Thank you for providing the bursary that allowed me to attend the very 1st CAFE Conference at the weekend. I found the whole conference to be very informative and the speakers/presenters were very knowledgeable which provided me with a lot of answers to questions I hadn’t even thought about. It was really good to meet with so many people from all over Europe and the friendliness of everyone made it, for me as a lone delegate, very enjoyable.

Tim Reeves, Populous: Thank you for the chance to attend today's CAFE conference. I have been completely inspired by all the enthusiasm and hard work of the organisers and people I witnessed speaking. I'll most certainly be exploring the new Good Practice Guide and making sure my colleagues are aware of its use as a tool and what it represents, along with Accessible Stadia and The Green Guide, in championing FULL accessibility.

Antonia Hagemann, Supporters Europe: Many thanks. Great conference!

Ulrich Hofmann, Bayern Munich: The conference was a real milestone. I didn't expect a conference organized that perfect. Everything was superb. The selection of the speakers (Joyce was the best!), the location (what can be better than the Wembley Stadium - the mother of all football stadia worldwide) and also the food - against all prejudices ;-) - it was really fine! So I hope that we can meet there again - if not next year, than in 2013.

Marek Goj, Wisla Krakow: We would like say again a huge thanks you for our invitation to the Wembley conference. These two days in London, resulted in many new contacts and ideas for joint projects and statements as to future cooperation.

Lloyd Page, Mencap: Thank you very much for allowing myself and my other colleagues to have a market stand at your conference at Wembley Stadium. I had a great day.

Tony Taylor, Level Playing Field: Great conference - only heard positive comments.

Sonia Parayre, Council of Europe: Thank you for this excellent conference.

Tony Higgins, FIFPro: It was great to see at first hand the tremendous work that CAFE are doing and how well it is developing. Keep up the good work!

David Keirle, KSS Design Group: It was a real pleasure and I enjoyed it very much.

Paul Elliott: Well done. It was excellent, speakers, organisation, messaging & content.

Jean Bevan, Bevan Kidwell: Really great, educational and inspiring. Am so honoured to be involved and to help.

Ruth Shaw, Football Licensing Authority: I attended the CAFE conference on Saturday and my Chairman came on Sunday and we both found it really interesting and useful. I know how much hard work goes into organising something like that and so I wanted to say thanks for your role in making the day such a big success.

Teresa Silva, Fundacion Tambien: I would just like to thank you so very much for a lovely and inspiring weekend at CAFE conference. It was great to meet you, your friendly work team and all the members of CAFE family. It was great to learn so much about CAFE’s objectives, program and activities that are being done. Congratulations on the great work you’ve done. The organisation was perfect and all details were taken care of. I am also very grateful for all the assistance you provided me in the lead up to Wembley.

Ben Veenbrink, UEFA Expert Panel: It was a real pleasure to be at the 1st CAFE conference. I hope many more will follow!


Introduction: Total Football, Total Access:

CAFE Chairman David Bernstein opens the conference:

UEFA's Patrick Gasser provides his welcome:

Joyce Cook, CAFE Managing Director, outlines the aims of the conference:

Ben Veenbrink of UEFA's Stadium Construction Expert Panel:

KSS Design Group Chairman David Keirle:

Patrick Gasser deputising for Pedro Correia, on delivering an accessible tournament:

Click here for the Powerpoint presentation

Ex-Polish footballer Dariusz Dziekanowski introduces the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion Project:

CAFE Eastern European Development Officer Elena Karpukhina:

Nataliya Skrypka of Ukraine's National Assembly of Disabled People on Respect Inclusion:

Konstancja Tanjga of Integracja, Poland:

The Council of Europe's Sonia Parayre discusses the 2006-2015 Disability Action Plan:

CAFE Western European Development Officer Keith Ferguson:

Gary Deards of Level Playing Field on the Never Watch Alone initiative:

Football Supporters Europe representative Dirk Vos discussing fan solidarity:

FAREs Piara Powar leads a player panel with Danny Wallace, Danny Mills, Paul Elliott, Tony Higgins and Dariusz Dziekanowski:

Joyce Cook and Ben Veenbrink launch the Good Practice Guide:

Cathy Long, Head of Supporter Services at the English Premier League:

The Bundesliga's Marco Ruehmann:

Ulrich Hofmann, Disability Liaison Officer at Bayern Munich:

Supporters Direct Head of European Development, Antonia Hagemann:

Gary Deards discusses an inclusive welcome:

ORF TV's Martin Zwischenberger considers audio described commentary:

Total Football, Total Access, Total Sense - The Derby County Story:

Derby County CEO Tom Glick on why anything is possible:

Tom Glick is joined by Keith Marson, Jim Froggatt and Cathy Long for a panel discussion:

Closing speech from CAFE Chairman David Bernstein:

Click here for Polish translation podcasts or visit the RSS feed.

Click here for Russian translation podcasts or visit the RSS feed.

Click here for German translation podcasts or visit the RSS feed.