Europe Feb 18, 2013
MALTA: The Kummissjoni Nazzjonali Persuni b’Diżabilita (KNPD) filed a judicial protest against the Malta Football Association (MFA) for failing to provide adequate access to the Ta’ Qali National Stadium’s Enclosure Side.
The KNPD, which is the national watchdog against discrimination based on disability, stated that it had received numerous complaints about the lack of accessibility for persons with disability in the stadium’s Enclosure Side, even though this was a public building.
It complained that MFA failed to explain its shortcomings, or to take remedial action to improve the accessibility to the national stadium’s most commonly used entrance even despite an on-site visit during which practical and reasonable remedial actions were discussed.
KNPD acknowledged the fact that the stadium’s Millennium Stand was fully accessible but said this was hardly ever opened for the local top flight games.
It said that given the attendance for local games, the older Enclosure Side was used to host both sets of supporters as well as the VIP stand. This part of the stadium was older than the Millennium Stand and its entrance, stands and facilities were not accessible for people with restricted mobility.
The inaccessibility persisted notwithstanding the obligations laid upon the service provider in the light of the Equal Opportunities Act (Persons with Disability) (EOA) enacted over 12 years ago, the United Nations’ Convention Regarding the Rights of Persons with Disability which Malta ratified in November 2012, as well as outstanding MEPA regulations.
KNPD gave the MFA seven days within which to explain its position and how it intended to make the Enclosure Side fully accessible within a reasonable time-frame.
Source: The Times of Malta