Total Football, Total Access, Total Inclusion

The Centre for Access to Football in Europe has held its second international conference, supported by UEFA. We met up with experts in the field to talk about the importance of access to football.

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The Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE), a long-time social responsibility partner of UEFA, has hosted its second international conference at the Stade the France. CAFE's mission is to improve access to football stadia by working with UEFA member associations, leagues, clubs, disabled fans and fans groups.

According to David Bernstein, chairman of CAFE, disabled people are the largest minority group in any population, with more than 80 million disabled people living in the European Union alone.

Some 50% of disabled people have never participated in leisure or sport activities because of inaccessible venues and services. In many regions, disabled people are still isolated, socially and economically excluded, and often limited by inaccessible surroundings and transport, negative attitudes and stereotyping.

Panel speakers covered a wide range of topics such as infrastructure and services for visible and hidden disabilities.

Jacques Lambert, President, EURO 2016 SAS
We want to leave a durable legacy in two areas: firstly, the audio-description that we will implement in all EURO stadiums, because that is something which does not exist in France at the moment.

The second durable legacy that we will leave is about signage, because the current signage system in stadiums is not conceived to answer the needs of disabled people. We will achieve this for the EURO, and this will remain in these stadiums afterwards.

Emmanuelle Assmann, EURO 2016 ambassador to François Hollande and president of the French Paralympic Committee
For EURO 2016 we are working closely together with CAFE and the host cities. A change of mindset is necessary concerning legal conditions. We are working in all the venues on access and guiding fans to their assigned seat.

But also in the host cities, in fan zones and public places within the city, as well as in the public transport which allows people to get to the stadiums and move around the city. An event like EURO 2016 is a real boost for change.

To hear more from the participants, click on the video player above.

Find out more about CAFE.