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Resource id #4 ‘Disabled’ fans ejected from stadium - Volume 4 Issue 13: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 4 Issue 13 - July 01, 2006

‘Disabled’ fans ejected from stadium

D.N.I.S. News Network – The World Cup fever is on and many would do just about anything to see their favourite teams play and win, as seen in an incident during the match between Argentina and Holland. Three Argentinean football fans entered the stadium pretending to be disabled and ultimately blew their own cover!

The three men got hold of wheelchairs and pretended to be disabled, which helped them buy special inexpensive World Cup tickets set aside for disabled soccer fans. But their ruse was discovered when one of the trio could not contain his enthusiasm and started jumping up and down as the game got more exciting. Finally they were thrown out of the stadium.

“Our friend couldn’t stop jumping and a person near us thought there was a miracle happening,” one of the men, who only gave his name as Gustavo, told the media. Another of the group, Claudio, added: “We are embarrassed by what we did, but we had no alternative. We did not have the money to pay for a ticket which was very expensive.”

Well, if the World Cup tickets have proved to be too expensive for able-bodied fans, the situation is worse for thousands of disabled fans the world over with even the crucial World Cup websites sidelining them.

AbilityNet, an organisation that advises disabled people on technology, has found that crucial World Cup websites F.A. and F.I.F.A. are inaccessible to disabled fans. In a special 'State of the eNation' report looking at the main World Cup websites, neither were found to meet even the minimum level of accessibility required by disabled fans who would like to watch the match online. AbilityNet has said that for this very reason both websites risked prosecution under the Disability Discrimination Act. The two sites reviewed were the English version of F.I.F.A.’s World Cup site http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/ and the F.A.’s World Cup site http://www.TheFA.com/ .

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