The scenes at Wembley Stadium away from the pitch last Sunday were saddening to witness. We join with all decent-minded people in condemning the vile and disgusting racist abuse that followed the match. Such abuse must never be tolerated.
We were also deeply concerned about the potential threat to the safety of disabled spectators at the match – hearing that people were ‘packed’ into the ‘disabled area’ is worrying and should never happen.
The issues at the final last Sunday could have been catastrophic for all fans but particularly disabled supporters caught in the violence or injured as a result of reported breaches at the accessible entrance and wheelchair user viewing areas.
We know from the feedback we have received already that this has left some disabled supporters feeling extremely uneasy about attending live sporting events.
Level Playing Field has sought assurances from Wembley Stadium and the Metropolitan Police that a thorough and detailed investigation will be undertaken, including the impact on disabled fans.
Level Playing Field continues to make itself available to work with all stakeholders to ensure watching live sport is safe and accessible for all. This includes the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE), which is in dialogue with UEFA on this specific matter and they would welcome feedback from disabled fans who attended games at Wembley (please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disabled fans have the right to feel safe to watch football – any fan that would knowingly endanger the safety of other supporters is not a true football fan.