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FIFA give disabled fans unforgettable experience

an arab wearing a face mask sitting in a wheelchair in the accessible area at a football stadium

In a confusing speech before this years’ World Cup FIFA boss Gianni Infantino said he ‘felt disabled’, for those who actually have a physical disability despite the controversy centering around the games at least those falling in the minority group will be looked after.

For each game at Qatar 2022 disabled footie fans are being treated to a unique experience during the pre-match ceremony.

Before every match two accessible ticket holders are randomly invited to go to the player tunnel and pitch-side so they can be just metres away from the players.

From last Friday games the chosen few were also invited to join the line-up in front of the match officials.

Two lucky fans at the Japan Vs Spain game at Khalifa International Stadium on 1 December had a day they will never forget. Ramos Castillo from Barcelona and Mochida Haruki from Tokyo joined the teams walking through the player tunnel.

Reliving the experience Castillo said: “This was a very special moment. Unbelievable. I am so happy tonight.

FIFA has made every effort to ensure disabled fans are looked after at the games, each stadium has top-of-the-range accessible facilities which were planned months in advance.

Speaking at a special event focused on showcasing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ accessibility features last month, Infantino said: “At FIFA, our goal is to provide inclusive and accessible infrastructure and services for all fans, including disabled fans and fans with limited mobility.”

FIFA has also reserved a number of tickets for local and international disabled people for all 64 World Cup games which provide easy access amenity, easy access standard, easy access extra-width and sensory rooms in Al Bayt, Lusail and Education City stadiums.

With a population of 2.985 million (as of September 2022), and a land area of 11,571 square metres, Qatar is the smallest host country on record.

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