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Government response to Level Playing Field’s Champions League final letter

Level Playing Field Chair Tony Taylor has received a response to the letter he wrote to the government regarding how disabled supporters were treated at the 2021/22 Champions League final.

On 30 June, Level Playing Field Chair Tony Taylor wrote to the UK government to raise concerns and seek a response and action on how disabled supporters were treated at the 2021/22 Champions League final and moving forward.

You can read Tony’s letter here.

Below is the response from the Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society Nigel Huddleston MP who responded on June 28th 2022:

Dear Tony,

Thank you for your correspondence of 30 May to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, regarding the UEFA Champions League Final 2022.  I am replying as the Minister for Sport.

Thank you for raising your concerns. We were appalled by the terrifying and potentially dangerous conditions experienced by many Liverpool fans at the Champions League and I am shocked and concerned by what has come to light. We welcome the fact that UEFA has commissioned an independent investigation, and issued an apology to fans who attended the final.

The French Government has also commissioned a review of the delivery of the event and will also be supporting the UEFA investigation. I met with Minister Oudéa-Castéramet earlier this month and we will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and Liverpool FC, noting the specific issues you have raised with regards to disabled access.

The government recognises the great importance of getting disabled people to take part in sport and physical activity both as participants and as spectators. We recognise there are barriers which exist and prevent some people from taking part, and we want to continue to do all that we can to tackle these. We will continue to work with our arm’s length bodies and sector partners to encourage sport bodies to make sport more accessible.

As you will be aware, the government expects all sports and all clubs to take the necessary action to fulfil their legal obligations under the Equality Act of 2010 to make reasonable adjustments so that disabled people are not placed at a substantial disadvantage when accessing sports venues.

The reasonable adjustment duty is an anticipatory duty because it is owed to disabled people in general. This means that owners of stadia are expected to anticipate the requirements of disabled customers and the adjustments that may have to be made for them, so that disabled people can access the service or facility in question.

Thank you again for your letter. I hope this response has been helpful.

Nigel Huddleston MP Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society.

Level Playing Field continues to work with relevant stakeholders and fan groups to ensure that the message in this letter is delivered.