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Accessibility at the tournament

Initiative description: Designing, building and/or selecting accessible tournament sites, delivering accessible services at tournament sites and events and establishing a system to audit compliance with FIFA and SC accessibility standards as applicable.

Accessible sites and services

Our goal is to provide inclusive and accessible infrastructure services for all fans, including disabled fans and fans with limited mobility. This includes making permanent infrastructure improvements that make the stadiums, and associated infrastructure, more accessible to everyone. We will ensure that stadiums have several help points, mobility support services and audio-descriptive commentary services, as well as pre-journey information related to accessibility.

Inclusive infrastructure

FIFA, Q22 and the SC have been working to ensure all new FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stadiums and training sites are accessible for disabled people and people with limited mobility in compliance with FIFA’s accessibility requirements and the SC’s inclusive design requirements.

Regular inspections and audits are conducted to evaluate compliance with a range of accessibility criteria for stadium infrastructure. Accessible infrastructure includes access routes, accessible seating options, seating locations and quantities, toilets, accessible parking areas, dedicated priority lanes at entrances and food & beverage counters, priority lift access, and relevant signage.

All eight stadiums as well as other key official sites have been audited and areas for improvement have been logged and are being addressed accordingly.

Accessible ticketing policy and operations

FIFA ensures a dedicated allocation of tickets for purchase by local and international disabled people and people with limited mobility to facilitate their attendance at the FIFA World Cup 2022™. These Accessibility Tickets are available in every stadium and across all matches via www.fifa.com/ticketing in five ticket categories - wheelchair users, easy access amenity, easy access standard, easy access extra-width and sensory room. A complimentary ticket for a companion is offered for all categories except easy access extra-width seat ticket holders.

All accessibility ticket applications and documents of proof of eligibility are screened and verified by experts working for the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) or by ticketing staff trained by CAFE. Promotional campaigns are carried out prior to each tournament to raise awareness about the availability of accessibility tickets to fans.

An accessible format of the FIFA World Cup 2022™ match schedule can be found here.

Accessibility training for workforce and volunteers

Test events such as the FIFA Club World Cup 2019™, FIFA Club World Cup 2020™ and FIFA Arab Cup 2021™, all hosted in Qatar, presented an opportunity to deliver accessibility training developed by FIFA and Q22 to relevant staff and volunteers. Across all three test events, approximately 6,500 volunteers (representing 82% of total volunteers) covering spectator services, security, sustainability and health & safety roles were trained on accessibility awareness and etiquette.

During the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™, wheelchairs and golf carts were made available via a mobility assistance services programme with between 15 to 20 volunteers per match dedicated to providing mobility services. Over 3,500 private security personnel received disability awareness training to help them recognise and assist disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility at test events.

Feedback and lessons learned from test events have enabled further improvements to accessibility training and service delivery in the leadup to the FIFA World Cup 2022™.

FIFA World Cup 2022™ Accessibility Training

Accessibility Satisfaction Survey

Satisfaction surveys were carried out at every match during test events. The surveys explored the views of disabled spectators and spectators with limited mobility on the accessibility of infrastructure, ticket purchase process and services offered during the test tournaments.

The average satisfaction rating across test events is captured and categorized in the table below which forms a basis to inform the tournament organizers to improve and enhance accessibility in all areas at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

FIFA Club World Cup 2019™ FIFA Club World Cup 2020™ FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
Satisfaction rating from disabled people and people with limited mobility for accessibility of stadium infrastructure (e.g. routes, seats, sanitary facilities) 4.5 out of 5 4.7 out of 5 4.6 out of 5
Satisfaction rating from disabled people and people with limited mobility for accessibility of services (e.g. transport, security check, spectator services) 4.5 out of 5 4.4 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
Satisfaction rating of ticket purchasing process 4 out of 5 4.8 out of 5 4.3 out of 5

Audio-descriptive commentary

In the past, I had to rely on the description of a sighted friend or make do by listening to a time-delayed video of the match on my phone. But this technology allows me to enjoy the action on the pitch in the same way as everyone else.
Faisal Al Kohaji
Spectator at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ and a long-time supporter of the Qatar national team

Blind and partially sighted fans were able to enjoy audio-descriptive commentary in Arabic at a FIFA tournament (FIFA Arab Cup 2021™) for the first time in two stadiums, Education City Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium. Using their personal mobile devices and headphones and a dedicated mobile app, fans could listen to play-by-play commentary in great detail. This included information about the stadium’s ambience and even the reaction on players’ faces.

Training for commentators is underway to ensure this service is available in Arabic and English at all tournament venues during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Digital access and inclusion

To ensure the accessibility of online information for blind and partially-sighted users, the host country website qatar2022.qa has achieved Level AA under the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Standards.

To achieve this rating, content has been written with text-to-speech software in mind for blind or partially-sighted users. Images are underlined with a text-to-speech software that describes an image to people who cannot see it, text size is changeable to help with readability and high-contrast colour schemes aid visibility such as white text on a dark blue background.

MADA Assistive Technology Centre, a centre of excellence in digital access in Arabic based in Qatar, provides ongoing consulting services and ranked the website with a 99/100 in terms of web accessibility.