UEFA, the body that controls European football, has imposed a partial stadium closure for one match on Paris Saint-Germain, after finding the club guilty of discriminatory conduct towards disabled Chelsea FC fans.
This is the first time that UEFA has charged a club with abusing disabled fans.
During a UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg, played in April in Paris, disabled Chelsea fans had to sit below a section of home supporters who they alleged abused, threatened and threw bottles and spat at them.
Joyce Cook, managing director of CAFÉ, the Centre for Access to European Football, said: “We welcome the determined decision taken by UEFA which sends a clear message to all clubs that abuse of disabled fans will not be tolerated.
“CAFE understands that this was a particularly unpleasant incident with the Chelsea disabled fans abused and threatened by a minority of home fans whom they were confronted by based on being in the wrong place through no fault of their own.
“This could have happened at a number of European clubs where disabled away fans have no choice but to sit with the opposing home fans and we have had other reports of similar incidents in the past.
“It is discriminatory to provide a disabled person with a lesser experience and fans naturally want to sit with their own fans as a part of the match day experience.
“When that lesser experience leaves disabled people vulnerable and subject to abuse purely because they are disabled, then it is discrimination. If these fans had been non-disabled fans, they almost certainly wouldn’t have even been allowed into that part of the stadium.
PSG will act as one of the hosts for UEFA Euro 2016 with significant access improvements already being planned.