Earlier this season, German Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln began a cooperation with Aktion Mensch to promote access and inclusion using the unique power of football.

Aktion Mensch is a long-established social organisation in Germany, funded by lottery revenues. They work to educate and promote wider inclusion in German society, and has funded over €3.5 billion worth of social projects to date.

The cooperation will initially last throughout the 2017-18 football season, and has included working with the 1. FC Köln Foundation and the Deaf Cologne Fanclub.

In partnership with the Deaf Cologne Fanclub, a unique team poster was created featuring the sign language interpretation of the squad's names.

This poster can be downloaded in PDF format here.

The sign language interpretations will also be shown on the stadium big screens during team announcements throughout the season.

Armin von Buttlar, CEO of Aktion Mensch, said, "Sport is an inclusion driver and connects disabled people and non-disabled people through the shared experience".

Vice President of the 1. FC Köln Foundation, Martin Ritterbach, added "1.FC Köln stands with its values ​​for inclusion, and promotes tolerance and respect. Our foundation continues engage in football with our projects for an inclusive society".

To launch the cooperation, the club held an inclusion day at their first home match of the season. The players carried the Aktion Mensch logo on their shirts, and disabled people were welcomed to the match as stewards, player escorts and even accompanying the stadium announcer.

To find out more about the Deaf Cologne Fanclub, please click here.

Published 12/01/2018