UEFA asked to explain severe lack of wheelchair spaces at Champions League final

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Once again UEFA have come under fire for their organisation of the Champions League. The latest issue to rear its head is the severe lack of spaces available to wheelchair users, which has been called discriminatory by the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA).

According to Sports Joe, the Stade de France, where the Champions League final is being held, has space for 550 Wheelchair Spaces, but only 93 have been allocated. Between the finalists, Real Madrid and Liverpool have each been provided with 38 spaces, with an extra 17 kept back for UEFA themselves. With 474 spaces not in use, that means that only 14% of the supposedly available spaces will be in use for the final.

The Stade de France became the venue after the final was moved from St. Petersburg in Russia.

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

UEFA took the decision to move the Champions League final from St. Petersburg in Russia following their invasion of Ukraine, with the Stade de France in Paris selected in its place.

The LDSA expressed their disgust for both the statement and the actions, asking for explanations. Chief among those questions was the reason that only a small proportion of the available spaces were being used. They also asked for confirmation that they would not be in use for television cameras or other purposes too.

This comes off the back of criticism about the total allocation of tickets itself, with only 40,000 of the 75,000 capacity available to the clubs. It represents another step towards the idea that UEFA does not consider fans amongst their priorities when it comes to decision-making.

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