Football clubs urged to tackle disabled access

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Series Details Vol.7, No.41, 8.11.01, p13
Publication Date 08/11/2001
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Date: 08/11/01

By Martin Banks

AN MEP has launched a campaign to force European soccer grounds to improve access for disabled people.

British Liberal Democrat deputy Liz Lynne says too many European clubs are "dragging their feet" over disabled access for supporters.

She has called for a disability directive forcing clubs to make access easier in stadia and wants all adaptations in place in time for 2003, which has been designated European Year of Disabled People.

She said: "Too many clubs provide little or nothing in the way of access. In some cases, I accept they may be unaware of what is needed but, in this day and age, there is no excuse for this. Disabled supporters have the same rights as able-bodied fans and should be able to attend live sporting events like everyone else without facing problems of access. Clubs should realise they too can benefit from having fans who have a disability."

She added: "I will be contacting football clubs right across Europe to establish exactly what they do in terms of access for disabled people."

The European Year of Disabled People 2003 will feature a programme of events in every member state which will highlight the difficulties disabled people face.

Lynne added: "I want to see disabled peoples' rights and concerns brought into the mainstream of the legislative process at every level. "The year could help us to achieve this across the European Union. "I hope it is a success and has tangible benefits for disabled people. I also hope we will see the announcement of a specific disability directive under the Article 13 anti-discrimination process, similar to the racism directive which we have recently approved."

British Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne has launched a campaign to force European soccer grounds to improve access for disabled people.

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