• Special Access Tickets available at FIFA Confederations Cup matches
  • All Confederations Cup stadiums properly equipped for disabled people and people with limited mobility
  • Tickets on sale now!

Wheelchair user Andrei Sachkov, 28, has supported Spartak Moscow since he was a child and tries to get to as many of their home games as possible, despite the fact he lives 180 kilometres away in Ryazan.

He obviously cannot get to every game, but Andrei does manage to make the trip around ten times a season, combining a visit to the Russian capital with his own sporting endeavours: Sachkov is a serious Paralympic athlete, winning medals at international tournaments.

“I go to the football by car with another guy who uses a wheelchair and two friends accompanying us,” Andrei explained to FIFA.com. “We try to arrive in Moscow a bit earlier to have a look around and take some photos, then we’re off to the stadium!”

Andrei was delighted when Spartak recently opened an amazing new stadium, which will soon be hosting matches at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.

“The facilities are ideal!” Sachkov exclaimed. “There’s always someone with us at every moment. Volunteers have been appointed to accompany us to the stadium. We go up on the elevator to the third tier, where there are spots with enough space to put your wheelchair. There are seats nearby for the people accompanying us. The toilets and everything else have been equipped for disabled people. It’s all just perfect!”

Andrei has a lot of experience visiting different venues, so he is able to compare their accessibility for disabled people. In his opinion, the most important things are how easy it is to get from the parking lot to your seat and the availability of shuttle services and elevators large enough for several wheelchairs in the stadium, as well as staff members ready to offer assistance.

It goes without saying that Andrei is planning on going to the Confederations Cup, the first major international football tournament to be held in Russia featuring the best national teams from each continent and current world champions Germany.

“The Confederations Cup is important for Russia most of all,” he said, “because other countries have maybe got used to their national teams and clubs being successful and competing at the business end of big tournaments; so far we haven’t been so spoilt with constant triumphs. Soon the world champions Germany and the European champions Portugal will be playing here. I really want to watch them and compare their level with ours, especially since Russia have only been playing friendlies recently.

“Expectations are cautious around the national team’s performances. After speaking with friends, I know many people hope the Confederations Cup can help Russia improve ahead of the World Cup. I’d like to see Stanislav Cherchesov pull the team together because they’ve been inconsistent so far.”

Andrei intends to see at least two matches at the Confederations Cup and has applied for Special Access Tickets for the Russia vs Portugal match during the group stages at his beloved Spartak Stadium and the Final in Saint Petersburg.

FIFA has established accessibility-related requirements and recommendations for all of the stadiums to be used for the FIFA World Cup™. Over the past several years, FIFA and the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee have been actively working together to ensure that infrastructure and services are in place for an accessible environment for everybody at the Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Currently, volunteers are being trained on accessibility services and will be spread throughout the stadiums to provide information and assistance to all spectators. Furthermore, live audio-descriptive commentary will be provided at each one of the FIFA Confederation Cup matches in Russian. Those interested in and in need of this service will be able to request special headsets for the duration of the match at an Accessibility Info Point.

For people requiring Special Access Tickets (SATs), including disabled people, people with limited mobility and obese people, there are four different types of tickets on offer to ensure they can experience unforgettable memories and enjoy the games. 

Tickets sales for the Confederations Cup have started up again, so it is possible to not only purchase tickets directly from the website FIFA.com/tickets but also in person at FIFA Ticket Centres in the tournament’s four Host Cities: Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi and Moscow.

“The elevators are bigger at Spartak’s new stadium,” Andrei confirmed. “Four wheelchairs and four companions can fit inside at the same time, so you don’t have to wait ages for your turn. It takes us 20 minutes to get to our seats, but this is without hurrying while we get out of the car, meet friends and have a chat. I think we could realistically manage it in ten.”

Most of the ticket categories for disabled people also offer an additional ticket free of charge for a companion to accompany them to the match. The companion is there to provide assistance to the disabled person and further help to ensure a barrier-free experience.