The working group of the Erasmus+ project - ‘Good Governance Needs Access and Inclusion’ - held a meeting in Frankfurt to support the implementation of the strategies devised in each participating country and to share challenges and best practice examples across the group.

The project, working towards good governance in sport through integrating disabled fans’ feedback into national strategies, kicked off in January 2021 with CAFE joining representatives of national associations, leagues and national disabled supporters associations in Belgium, France and Germany. Universidade Europeia - Portugal (ENSILIS) is also working as the academic partner on the project.

In Frankfurt, we were delighted to be joined by Kathryn Albany-Ward of Colour Blind Awareness. Kathryn presented an interactive session on colour blindness within football and how stakeholders across the game can implement changes to support the 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women who are colour blind.

Examples of how colour blindness is addressed were shared across the working group, including from the DFL in Germany who are organising trainings with their referees to ensure kit combinations do not cause colour clash.

The German national disabled supporters association (BBAG) presented on accessible communication and digital accessibility, sharing advice and guidance with the rest of the group on how to ensure all electronic communications incorporate features such as inclusive language, alt-text of images and screen-reader functionality.

BBAG also presented on ensuring demographic-sensitive stadiums, and highlighting how accessible facilities and features make stadiums more welcoming for both disabled and non-disabled people.

CAFE led discussions on two guidance notes during the meeting – on pre-match access information and the role of a national disabled supporters association. The group will continue to collaborate on these guidance notes, with a view to publishing them online later in the year.

Isobel Robins, CAFE’s Research Officer and manager of the project, said “We would like to extend a huge thank you to the DFB and DFL for hosting us during this meeting, and thank our partners Colour Blind Awareness for joining us in Frankfurt to offer further advice and guidance to the group. We are really excited to see such positive teamwork amongst the working group, and we are sure this collaboration will lead to a much better experience for so many disabled supporters”.

The working group was also taken on a tour of Deutsche Bank Park, the home stadium of Eintracht Frankfurt, to view some of the accessible solutions in place. This included flexible companion seating, which allows disabled spectators to have more than one companion, friend or family member sit with them during matches.

As outlined in the project plan, a second disabled supporters survey will go live in May 2023 to further inform the final project outcomes and proposals. CAFE will share more information on the launch of this survey in the coming weeks.

The group is due to meet next in Belgium later this year, with results of the second survey to be presented by ENSILIS. The group also plans to discuss provisions for disabled away supporters and how to ensure consistent availability of matchday services for all disabled fans.

Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The programme is managed by the European Commission, and offers funding for international actions to promote inclusive opportunities.

For more information about the ‘Good Governance Needs Access and Inclusion’ project, please email [email protected] or call +44 (0)208 065 5108.

EU flag along with the text: Co-funded by Erasmus+

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Published 18/4/2023