A version of this story is also available in Spanish

CAFE is delighted to publish the findings of our survey of disabled fans in Spain – the most extensive study of disabled people in the country CAFE has undertaken to date.

Launched in conjunction with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the survey aimed to investigate levels of accessibility at football stadiums across Spain.

We were also keen to find out if disabled fans are regularly attending matches in the country, to gain further insight on the experiences of those attending matches, and to better understand the existing barriers that may prevent, or disadvantage disabled people in Spain attending matches.

Thanks to a dedicated promotion campaign on CAFE’s social media channels and support from our NGO collaborator in Spain, Fundacion ONCE, the survey was live for three months and was completed by nearly 200 people.

Disabled supporters from clubs across all divisions in Spain shared their feedback with CAFE. We were delighted with the number of responses received and also with the level of detailed information submitted.

Download the Spanish Disabled Fans Survey summary report, and the report appendix.

The findings clearly show there is a strong desire amongst disabled Spanish people to attend live matches. 80% of respondents stated that football matches should be for everyone, including disabled people. 

It was encouraging to find that nearly 40% of respondents are regular match-goers, attending over 13 matches in the previous 12-month period. However, approximately one-in-five respondents stated they have not been to a live match in the same period.

The common factors as to why 22% of respondents have not been to any matches included difficulties in purchasing tickets in accessible seating areas, and a lack of accessible public transport.

50% of disabled people stated they had not faced any barriers when attending live matches. Those who had encountered obstacles included examples such as a lack of pre-match accessibility information, limited availability of accessibility tickets, difficulties in reaching stadiums, and inadequate accessible services and facilities at stadiums such as accessible car parking spaces and accessible toilets. 

CAFE Fan Liaison and Access Officer, Amy Wilson said, “While many disabled fans in Spain have reported they are enjoying a positive matchday, it is apparent that the experience can vary greatly. CAFE hopes that the recommendations contained in our report, as well as the feedback and ideas received from disabled fans, will help RFEF, La Liga and its clubs to better understand the landscape for all disabled fans, leading to improvements being made at stadiums across the country for differently disabled supporters.”

CAFE would like to thank everyone who shared their views and opinions with us and those who promoted the survey amongst their networks. We would also like to thank Fundacion ONCE and RFEF for their continued support and cooperation in this study.

Published 17/9/2020