Football should not be exclusive to any particular groups or individuals – UEFA believes football should be 'for all'. In addition, the European governing body points to football as a tool for broadening the inclusion of players of all abilities and marginalised or excluded groups, with the associated social benefits that would bring.
UEFA's partners in promoting 'Football for all' are as follows:
Special Olympics (SO) – core partner
Provides opportunities to more than 4.2 million athletes with intellectual disabilities in over 170 countries. The Special Olympics Europe Eurasia-UEFA Football Development Project began in 1998 and aims, primarily, to involve more players with intellectual disabilities in football.
• Participant numbers increased from 30,000 to 110,000
• New football programmes started in eight eastern European countries
• National football coordinators' network expanded to 48 countries
• SO European Football Week established with 50,000 athletes and 48 countries
• Ambassador network expanded to 23 countries
• Production of four training videos and DVDs
• Distribution of over 200 grants to 50 countries
• Thirteen European football competitions
CAFE (Centre for Access to Football in Europe) – associated partner
There are more than 50 million disabled people living in Europe and many are naturally football fans. As such, CAFE is working with UEFA and its partners to ensure that many more disabled supporters can attend live matches in the future. CAFE worked alongside UEFA and the host cities for UEFA EURO 2012 and the latest UEFA Champions League finals, advising on improved facilities and services. Significant improvements have included:
• Additional wheelchair user spaces and easy access seating for disabled supporters
• Audio descriptive commentaries for partially sighted and blind supporters
• Accessible (disabled) toilets and refreshment areas
• Disabled supporter liaison officers at each match
• Accessible (disabled) transport and taxi drop-off point
• The UEFA and CAFE Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience - Access For All
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