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Poor access still putting off many disabled fans – survey shows

Around a third of disabled supporters say they have been put off going to the match according to a new national survey of disabled fans.

More than 1,400 disabled fans took part in a survey conducted by Level Playing Field, a national disability access campaign group, and the results show a large number still feel excluded from live football.

The survey found that 30% of supporters felt unable to attend sporting venues due to poor access for disabled supporters. Additionally, 25% of respondents said that ‘anxiety or lack of confidence’ was a barrier when attending live sport.

Following lengthy restrictions on attending live sport due to the pandemic, 73% of the supporters surveyed said they would want to attend a match ‘right away’ once permitted.

The top three COVID-19 measures that fans wanted in place when returning were hand sanitising stations, hand washing facilities, and mask wearing (bar exemptions).

Level Playing Field chair Tony Taylor said: “With 73% of disabled fans eager to return to live sport ‘right away’ following various restrictions on attending, clubs need to ensure that they are ready, and this report can help with that preparation.

“There is clearly much that still needs to be done to ensure that disabled fans have an equal matchday experience to non-disabled fans.

“The fact that 30% of respondents said there was a sport or sports venue they felt unable to attend, due to poor access, highlights this inequality.”

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball