A UEFA EURO 2012 ticket auction has raised €175,000 for disabled charities focused both on the tournament and beyond, with some seats attracting bids of ten times the face value.
The UEFA EURO 2012 Charity Ticket Sales Programme has proved a huge success, with thousands of bids submitted in just ten days.
Supporters have been able to purchase high-quality seats specifically reserved for this cause via a special charity auction on UEFA.com. To participate, bidders were required to pay a €5 fee, with all monies raised beyond the face value – a total of around €175,000 – donated to the official UEFA EURO 2012 charity. The highest bids have been made for the Group B game between Netherlands and Germany in Kharkiv, and the quarter-final in Kyiv, where some offers have been ten times the face value.
UEFA has partnered with the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) to ensure disabled supporters enjoy the tournament through full access to sports facilities and public spaces. However, the work on improving accessibility for disabled people will extend beyond the tournament. CAFE will continue its activities with local partners in Poland and Ukraine to ensure a long-lasting legacy.
The raised funds will be invested in setting up audio commentary during matches for blind and partially-sighted supporters in Poland and Ukraine after the tournament. CAFE will train local commentators and supply equipment to the stadiums in the host countries.
Furthermore, the money will support workshops for football clubs and stadiums in Poland and Ukraine aiming to improve access for disabled fans. The donations will help to set up disabled fan networks at club and national level. Small grants will be available to implement awareness campaigns and set up supporter associations.
Larysa Sayevych, project coordinator for Donetsk, said: "I recently attended the UEFA EURO 2012 Respect Inclusion training seminar for commentary volunteers in Kyiv. This form of commentary is invaluable to blind and partially-sighted supporters like myself.
At the start of the seminar, I commented that listening to a football match was often like a black-and-white movie. By the end of it, I saw a rainbow."
CAFE will also encourage football supporters and other benefactors to give money for upcoming projects, with UEFA paving the way by donating €3,000 for each goal scored during the tournament.
Every donation counts:
€5 will buy a headset so that a blind supporter can receive commentary
€50 will provide 150 access and disability awareness information leaflets for sports clubs
€200 will help disabled people to set up a local disabled fan group – empowering disabled people to work with their clubs to improve access
€500 will train a local volunteer to deliver specialised audio-descriptive commentary to blind fans
€1,500 will provide the audio-descriptive commentary equipment for a sports club
€5,000 will provide accessible transport to local disabled fans on match days for a whole season
To donate, please visit: http://euro2012.cafefootball.eu/
UEFA is contributing €760,000 to the activities of CAFE within the RESPECT Inclusion project for UEFA EURO 2012. UEFA has been working with CAFE since 2010. The year before, the organisation was presented with UEFA's annual Monaco Charity Award.