CAFE has published a report highlighting critical points regarding access and inclusion for disabled spectators in the lead up to and during the UEFA Champions League Final 2022 (UCLF 22), with observations and recommendations for French authorities to take into consideration.

The report considers a number of key considerations, including the quality of accessible viewing areas inside the stadium, feedback we have received from disabled fans who attended the Final and safety and security incidents that occurred on the day of the match.

The incidents that took place on the evening of the Final are now being investigated through an independent review commissioned by UEFA, as well as by the French Commission of Culture, Education and Communication (French Senate).

Download CAFE's report on the UCLF 22 for French authorities.

CAFE has also submitted a specific report to UEFA on the UCLF 22, which includes separate points regarding UEFA’s decisions and operations for review and follow up. Some are reflected within this report, and UEFA is actively working with CAFE in the review of these.

At present, with France hosting several international sports events in the coming years, there is a strong risk that disabled spectators, who already face many barriers in attending live sport events, will now be deterred from attending these events as a result of the UCLF 22.  It is critical that French authorities and sport organisations offer reassurance to these fans and demonstrate active commitment to creating inclusive and accessible environments for disabled spectators, guests, volunteers and staff to enjoy.

The report lists a number of specific recommendations for French authorities to consider ahead of hosting future international sports events, including consultation with disabled fans and NGOs, a review of protocols, accessible transport routes and training for stewards, and the guarantee of an accessible and inclusive experience for disabled fans.

It is also recommended that police receive specific disability inclusion and etiquette training, and that the French government reviews and expands existing accessibility standards for sports stadia, including going beyond the provision of wheelchair user spaces to ensure an inclusive experience for all disabled fans.

CAFE calls upon French authorities to consult disabled fans and their representative groups to understand the implications of decisions around the UCLF 22 on disabled spectators, and how to prevent such barriers and negative consequences in the future.

These lessons should not just be considered by French authorities, but other countries and sports governing bodies should also take note of the recommendations outlined in the report to ensure that disabled fans can take their rightful places in the game.

For any enquiries related to this report, please email [email protected] or call +44 (0)203 355 9867.

Published 26/9/2022