Premier League club Southampton FC to highlight disability discrimination in football15 May 2017

DisabilitycharityScopeareteamingupwithPremierLeagueclubSouthamptonFCtohighlightdisabilitydiscriminationinfootballgroundsduringWednesday’s(17May)encounter.

New research published on Friday 13 May shows that disabled football fans feel excluded from live games. Eight in ten who attend football stadiums across the UK say they have experienced some form of discrimination or other issues resulting from their disability.

As a result, the majority (62%) of these disabled fans said these experiences had stopped them from going to a live match again.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of disabled football fans think the football industry needs to do more to prevent this type of discrimination towards disabled people.

This is also backed by a separate poll of non-disabled fans who go to matches, where more than half (52%) think more should be done to prevent discrimination towards disabled people at football matches.

To highlight the issue, Southampton will wear a special Scope-branded shirt for their home match against Manchester United FC on Wednesday 17 May.

Scope’s Chief Executive, Mark Atkinson, said:  “This new research should serve as a wake up call to all football clubs and fans.

“Football is our national game and has the ability to bring people together. We know that large numbers of fans want everyday equality and that means an inclusive game where discrimination of any kind isn’t tolerated.

“Disabled fans shouldn’t feel forced out of the stadium.”

The poll has also found that football clubs could do more to improve the experiences disabled fans have at live games.

Less than half of disabled fans (43%) said their club had staff who are well trained in disabled fans’ needs, while only 42% said their club had a zero-tolerance statement on abuse, for example, which may cover the use of negative language.

More than a third (38%) of disabled fans who go to matches said a lack of appropriate facilities at other stadiums stop them from going to an away game.