Level Playing Field is very disappointed to see that as part of the government’s Events Research Programme (ERP) and the subsequent guidance, the Carabao Cup Final will have a subsection of society excluded, – namely ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ people.
This follows on from the World Snooker Championships where the same guidance has been implemented, with ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ people being refused entry.
We stated in our press release last Friday that this sets a potentially discriminatory precedent. With more test events adopting these measures it is adding further ‘fuel to this fire’.
We recognise that the ERP is of absolute importance to not only reopening but reopening for all.
The actions around excluding Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people detracts from the message of tackling discrimination, promoting equality and devalues the importance of personal choice.
One of Level Playing Field’s primary objectives is to ensure that disabled people have the freedom of choice and the ability to engage in mainstream events and make sure they are never forgotten.
These test events will pave the way for what we all are hoping for – the reopening of stadia with fans.
However, these actions to exclude supporters present a very credible risk that sections of the football supporting community will continue to be excluded by society as lockdown eases.
Level Playing Field acknowledges that safety is vital to the programme of reopening, – but this must include freedom of choice and must not be discriminatory.
The risk attached to attending is clearly stated in the Carabao Cup Final ticketing information. However, fans should have the freedom to choose to attend and not be discriminated against because of their disability or health.
Level Playing Field will continue to engage with fans and raise these key points with the DCMS and challenge the guidance stipulated to ensure sports events are open for all and freedom of choice is at the heart of any decision being made.