CAFE has published a case study highighting the Total Access in Russia project, which aimed to improve local awareness around stadium access appraisals and improve the situation for disabled Russian fans.

The project was funded jointly by the UEFA HatTrick IV Football and Social Responsibility (FSR) programme, and the Russian Football Union (RFU). By developing stadium access appraisal skills within Russia, the project aimed to support local stakeholders to improve facilities at new and existing stadiums.

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 'Total Access in Russia' case study.

As part of the project, CAFE devised a three-day training course to be delivered to a pan-disability organisation and RFU representatives in Moscow. The course examined the principles of stadium accessibility, international and national legislation regulations, and practical advice on how to conduct a stadium access appraisal.

CAFE then accompanied trainees as they carried out access appraisals at four stadiums in Moscow. After each appraisal, CAFE worked with the group on how to create a detailed appraisal report and identify a priority order for access improvements to be addressed.

By setting the stadiums against the UEFA and CAFE benchmark, these appraisals will help to achieve a consistent level of access across all Russian footballing venues, empowering disabled spectators to expect certain standards when visiting public spaces.

The RFU had committed to access appraisals being carried out at each of the stadiums in the top two divisions in Russia, and following the training course the pan-disability organisation replicated their works at the Moscow stadiums across the country.

The project has already had a significant impact in Russia, and has enabled the RFU and its clubs to provide accurate advance information to local disabled communities. This, in turn, has meant that a greater number of disabled people are able to attend live matches.

Many infrastructural improvements have also been identified, and a number of clubs are already carrying out renovations and implementing long-term accessibility strategies.

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