Disability news

Manchester United clamp down on fans abusing accessible ticket system

disabled fans in the accessible area at old trafford

Manchester United supporters pretending they are disabled so they can secure spaces in the away area are being warned their actions are having ‘damaging consequences’.

A number of non-disabled fans have been attending games in wheelchairs, purchasing  tickets reserved for individuals who have a genuine disability.

The club has now changed their accessible booking system telling every disabled fan they must now present their ID onsite before collecting their tickets.

Alison Kerry, from Scope, told Mail Sport: 'There are a limited number of accessible tickets available to disabled football fans so it’s disheartening to hear about this situation.

'We’d urge anyone abusing the system to think about the damaging consequences of their actions.

'There are already a multitude of barriers faced by disabled football fans from inaccessible stadiums and issues with public transport to negative attitudes from other fans.

'Disabled football fans should always have equal access to support their team.'

Mikey Erhardt, representing Disability Rights UK, added: 'Non-disabled people abusing support and services designed for disabled people is always disappointing, whether it is people wrongly using disabled people’s parking bays or football fans. 

'We cannot be surprised that a situation like this arises, when rhetoric from the government and its media outriders demonises disabled people and the support we need at every turn.

'However, we mustn’t let these abuses lead to more complex processes, as this would make it harder for genuine Disabled fans to get the access we need. We hope that the club works with its disabled fans, to ensure we are all welcome and treated equally.'

The new measures were praised by Liverpool’s Disabled Supporter Association, who posted on X: 'We fully support the stance @ManUtd, and our friends @MudsaO are taking in support of their disabled supporters. This is truly shocking! Enough is enough.’

Man U will also be upping up security outside the ground with checks to ensure accessible tickets are not being offered to non-disabled fans.

Chas Banks, secretary of the Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association, said: 'I have seen with my own eyes evidence of these scumbags doing this, and I have the photos.

'To the extent of them twice having been seen watching the match whilst sitting in a wheelchair on the wheelchair platform, and then the next game being seen standing in the able-bodied section bouncing up and down when United scored a goal. 

'I dearly hope that anyone who gets caught at it receives the harshest possible sanction. 

'This is not a victimless crime, and I find it very sad that some of the people who are losing out to these horrible selfish fans really are the least deserving of being robbed of their chance to get a ticket that they are entitled to. Because I promise you, for many of them, time is not on their side.'

[ Manchester United won their first FA Cup title in 1909. ]

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