Liverpool fan group criticises UEFA’s “totally unacceptable” allocation of wheelchair spaces for Champions League final at Stade de France | Football News

The Liverpool FC Disabled Supporters Association has branded UEFA’s allocation for wheelchair users at Saturday’s Champions League final as “totally unacceptable”.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds take on Real Madrid at the Stade de France which has 550 wheelchair spaces, but only 93 will be in use for the match, with each team getting 38.

“This would be a meagre allocation in any circumstances for a game of this magnitude but given the Stade de France usually has 550 spaces available it is totally unacceptable,” a statement from the LFC Disabled Supporters Association read.

“We have over 200 wheelchair bays at Anfield and as a result of the shortfall, many of our supporters who are wheelchair users have been left disappointed.”

Level Playing Field – a charity which acts a campaign group for disabled sports fans – wrote to UEFA to ask about the issue. The governing body said they “acknowledge the situation and states that we (UEFA) agree that the number of seats available to disabled and low mobility supporters is insufficient. We (UEFA) are constantly working to ensure the best possible conditions to eliminate barriers to access to UEFA competitions matches.

Due to operational challenges, linked in particular to the change of venue for the final on short notice (Stade de France replaced Saint Petersburg only on February 25), UEFA was able to assign 93 wheelchair positions (76 allocated to the fans of the two clubs) which fulfil the quality sightlines UEFA aims to offer to disabled spectators.

“For an event of this size, UEFA would usually aim to identify a higher number of positions, but due to operational constraints (eg security, poor view, etc.) and the short preparation time, it was not possible to implement optimal solutions for more wheelchair positions. “

The LFC Disabled Supporters Association added: “The key question is what has happened to the other 474 bays? But whatever the reason, it has resulted in disabled football fans being forced out of a massive game and that can never be acceptable.

“The wheelchair bays are used at every other major event held in the stadium. For UEFA to say the reduction is for operational reasons is laughable. We are in constant contact with relevant authorities and Football Supporters Europe and at no point have supporter-related operational reasons have been discussed. This was simply a given allocation by UEFA. “

Liverpool and Real Madrid have each received 19,618 tickets for the game despite capacity being at 75,000. A further 12,000 tickets were put on general sale via a ballot, which closed before the semi-final second legs were played.

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