CAFE has published a case study highighting the works done by the San Marino Football Association (FSGC) in improving access and inclusion for disabled supporters at Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle – the national stadium of San Marino.

The project, known as 'Stadium for All' was funded jointly by the UEFA HatTrick IV Football and Social Responsibility (FSR) programme, and FSGC. By removing existing barriers inside the stadium, the project aimed to ensure a welcoming matchday experience for all.

Since 2004, UEFA HatTrick has made a significant impact on the football landscape in UEFA’s 55 member associations. The programme has helped to build 34 of the 55 national team training centres and 31 association headquarter offices. Up to 60% of the current national stadiums in Europe had a helping hand from UEFA HatTrick, either in their basic construction or in renovation to modernise them and ensure the safety of players and spectators.

In 2016, the UEFA HatTrick Football and Social Responsibility programme was added to the HatTrick scheme. The aim of this programme is to help football associations maximise their positive and minimise their negative impact in the social and environmental area. A growing number of national associations use the available funding to deliver inclusive strategies and solutions to ensure that football is accessible to all.

Download the San Marino 'Stadium for All' case study.

As part of the project, existing toilets in the stadium were renovated to become accessible for disabled spectators. Accessible viewing areas have been installed, with platform lifts added to provide access to the stadium bowl. A new accessible parking area has been created, with accessible fan zones, stores and museums open on matchdays.

In addition to the physical improvements made at the stadium, FSGC also commissioned CAFE to deliver an expert audio-descriptive commentary training seminar. The inclusive service is now available at all men's national matches played in the stadium with a view to expanding the service in the future.

Results of the project have been hugely encouraging, with a greater number of disabled people now able to attend matches at the stadium. Feedback from disabled supporters has also been very positive.

Andrea Zoppis, Deputy Licensing Manager, Supporter Liaison Officer and Disability Access Officer at FSGC, said, "This project was born with the aim to make our national stadium accessible for everyone and to remove all its architectural barriers. We want to give the opportunities to all people and fans to enjoy live football in San Marino and our national team matches. No one in our country should feel left out".

"We are very grateful to UEFA and CAFE for the support in the implementation of the project. We want to proceed in the future with other improvements for the stadium and for our football as a whole", added Andrea.

The next round of the UEFA HatTrick FSR funding cycle is open now, and CAFE would be keen to support your national association in applying for projects to improve access and inclusion for disabled people. For more information on how you could implement a similar project in your country or to discuss potential collaboration further, please email [email protected] or call +44 (0)208 065 5108.

Published 15/6/2020