Industry News

Welsh rugby accused of failing disabled fans on choice

Welsh rugby authorities have vowed to consider complaints from disabled fans who claim they are being prevented from choosing the price category of tickets.

Supporters with disabilities previously had to apply in writing for seats at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and could specify whether they wanted £40 ($50/€47) tickets or to pay the top price of £100.

However, that choice has not been available since the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) launched its new website last summer. That has left fans fearing they could be allocated a seat they cannot afford.

Wheelchair user Sharn Gibbs, who attends games with her husband Jeff, told BBC Wales’ X-Ray programme: “You can apply for the match you want to go to, but you’ve got no say on the price bracket that you are put into.

“It means I can’t apply cause if I’m successful in the ballot and they decide [to give us] the higher price bracket there won’t be enough money in the bank to cover it.”

The WRU told X-Ray the new website provided a more secure way for people to apply and pay for tickets for Wales’ home games.

It confirmed the option to select a price preference had been removed from the new online ballot – adding supporters could still make a written application stating their preferred ticket category, although no guarantees could be given.

A spokesman said: “We will be seriously considering the points made by Mr and Mrs Gibbs ahead of the 2017-18 season to ensure we are delivering the best service we can for our disabled supporters.”

Simon Green, chairman of Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People, said the new website was “quite complicated” and he had found the online form frustrating.

“I want more disabled people to watch Wales play,” he said. “So come on, make it easier.”

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