The first CAFE Week of Action - Total Football, Total Access - ran in Poland and Ukraine from 13-21 April 2013. 

This campaign, which was supported by football’s governing bodies in the region, invited football clubs and fans groups to celebrate improved inclusion within the game and aimed to promote the accessible facilities and services being provided on matchdays for their disabled supporters. A host of activities took place at football stadiums across Poland and Ukraine.

The Polish FA gave their full support to the Week of Action and published information about the campaign through their official channels. Ekstraklasa - the Polish top flight - also supported the initiative and supplied information on the Week of Action to all of their clubs. Clubs including GKS Katowice, Gornik Zabrze, Lechia Gdansk, Cracovia and Flota Swinoujscie got involved in the Week of Action, with such activities as pre-match or half time ceremonies, statements of support being read aloud at stadiums and stories being added to club websites. Stadion Narodowy - the Polish national stadium - implemented audio descriptive commentary using equipment donated by CAFE in legacy of UEFA EURO 2012. Stadion Narodowy gave their support to the Week of Action and publicised the campaign via their website.

In Ukraine, the CAFE Week of Action – Total Football, Total Access – was fully supported by the Ukrainian Premier League, who dedicated the weekend of 20-21st April to the Week of campaign. All 8 games played that weekend featured a pre-match ceremony with both the teams and matchday officials entering the field wearing CAFE-branded t-shirts (280 in total), and displaying CAFE Week of Action banners. A statement of support was read out by the PA Announcers in the stadiums during the line-ups, and a story was shared with all clubs to promote the Week of Action campaign in their matchday programmes and websites. The CAFE Total Football, Total Access video was shown on the big screens where available in each of the stadiums. The ceremonies took place at the stadiums of Illichivets Mariupol, Metalurh Zaporizhya, Metalurh Donetsk, Zorya, Tavriya, Metalist Kharkiv, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Arsenal Kiev, and featured all teams in the league. Each of the ceremonies was broadcasted on national television, and they can be viewed on the CAFE YouTube page.

Additionally, Karpaty Lviv carried out a similar ceremony the weekend prior to this, at their home match with Dynamo Kiev. Both Karpaty and Metalist Kharkiv implemented audio descriptive commentary services using equipment donated by CAFE in legacy of UEFA EURO 2012. Vorskla, Chernomorets Odessa and Shakhtar Donetsk also carried out additional activities including messages in matchday programmes, promotional films shown on stadium screens, stadium and museum tours for disabled supporters and interviews with fans.

We were delighted by the response from all stakeholders and the following sections provide more detail about the activities and tremendous support received locally.

To find out much more about the CAFE Week of Action 2013 - Total Football, Total Access, please click here to read the summary report (PDF).

A version of this article is also available in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.

Published 24/06/2013