Football for social inclusion

UEFA backs social responsibility partner CAFE's annual campaign, calling for access and inclusion of disabled people into all facets of the game.

©CAFE

The important role that disabled people can play in football is the focal point of the fifth week of action organised by UEFA's partner, the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE).

The CAFE Week of Action, taking place between 4 and 12 March, promotes the campaign to ensure that disabled people can be fully involved in the game, as spectators, players, coaches, administrators, volunteers or decision-makers.

'Total Football Total Access' is the theme of this latest edition of the Week of Action, which was first launched in 2013. Clubs, venues, associations and supporters groups will be organising activities across Europe.

"The Week is the ideal opportunity to raise awareness of access and inclusion," says CAFE, "and to better integrate disabled people into the wider society using the unique power of football."

UEFA has a long-standing relationship with CAFE, and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin is giving strong support to the Week of Action. 

"UEFA aims to utilise football's global reach to promote and foster social inclusion," Mr Čeferin said. "Our sport must be open to everyone – people of all sexes, creeds, beliefs and abilities, who all have a right to enjoy the game they love.

"Together with our partners CAFE, we aim to improve disabled people's access to football and help them play a fuller role in society."

In 2015, UEFA's Executive Committee approved new provisions in the body's Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations that require clubs to appoint a dedicated disability access officer.

This development is seen by CAFE as "a significant milestone for disabled people across Europe, and will lead to a much greater awareness around disability within all levels of football.

"This has meant that access and inclusion is on every national football association's agenda, and disabled fans now have an identified contact point at their clubs."

An official Week of Action mascot, Max Access, is making his debut this year. Max is a young disabled fan and will be helping to publicise events scheduled under the Total Football Total Access banner.