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Disabled sport fans are missing out

person in a wheelchair watching football match
person in a wheelchair watching football match Image credit: premierleague.com

Disabled sport fans are being left outside the turnstiles according to a new study by an equal access charity.

Around a third of people with disabilities have said they are unable to attend sporting events because venues and stadiums do not provide substantial accessible facilities according to a survey conducted by Level Playing Field.

The charity’s chairperson Tony Taylor said: "There is clearly much that still needs to be done to ensure disabled fans have an equal matchday experience to non-disabled fans.”

Data was collected from 1,408 replies between 20 May and 20 June.

Other results from the study revealed 32 per cent of disabled people found ‘physical access’ as a barrier if they attended a sporting event, 25 per cent felt 'anxiety or lack of confidence'.

After the pandemic 73 per cent are eager to go to a football game 'right away' although 62 per cent would only attend if hand-sanitising stations were available, 45 per cent would want to see hand-washing facilities and 43 per cent would only be comfortable if people were wearing face masks.

Taylor added: "It is our hope and expectation that their responses will serve to bring about improvements to services and facilities as clubs see their feedback and comments," Taylor added.

"Level Playing Field will continue to promote full access and inclusion for disabled fans, and we expect that will be reflected in the results of our future fan surveys."

 Goodison Park in Liverpool was the first purpose-built association football stadium in the world.