On 20th of March, CAFE’s Head of Development in Eastern Europe, Elena Karpukhina, and Project Coordinator in Ukraine, Olena Zhyvaikina, met representatives of FC Karpaty.

The club is very active in social matters. Head of the info-centre, Daniil Nikulenko, and Head of the fan NGO Zavzhdi Virni, Taras Pavliv, told us that FC Karpaty cooperates closely with the rehabilitation centre Dzherelo (the representatives of this centre also attended our meeting) and other NGOs for disabled people in Lviv. FC Karpaty will often provide these organisations with free match tickets upon request. Moreover, FC Karpaty regularly visits orphanages and helps children with clothes and other necessary materials.

The club is now playing at the Ukraine Stadium. The stadium was built in 1963 and reconstructed in 1999. The club provides 64 spaces for wheelchair users, and their family members and friends can watch the game alongside them.

FC Karpaty was also the first club in Ukraine to implement audio descriptive commentary for partially sighted and blind supporters at the stadium. A club journalist sitting next to these fans was explaining and describing everything on the pitch to them without any equipment.

Now FC Karpaty is planning to implement this kind of service on a regular basis as the representatives of the club want to share the joy of football with more fans and to give partially sighted and blind fans the opportunity to become a part of it.

At the end, CAFE presented the club with ‘Access for All’ – the UEFA and CAFE Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience. The guide provides lots of information that FC Karpaty can use to improve their accessible facilities and services.

FC Karpaty is also willing to support the initiatives of CAFE’s legacy project, and is committed to making their stadium more accessible for disabled supporters. The club is keen to attract more disabled fans to the stadium and create an inclusive matchday experience for all supporters.

A version of this article is also available in Russian.

Published 02/04/2013