Imagine your favourite football team is playing your fiercest rivals in one of the most important matches of the season – and you are not able to tell the kits of the teams apart and enjoy watching it. This happened to many colour-blind fans that tuned in for Liverpool FC vs Manchester United back in January 2021. The frustration that both sets of supporters would have felt could have been avoided by using existing technology and guidance.
On Colour Blind Awareness Day (6th September 2021), the NGOs European Football for Development Network and Colour Blind Awareness, the National Football Associations of Portugal, Iceland and Romania, as well as Oxford Brookes University and Danish football club Randers FC will be raising awareness for this issue and the implications this has on the beautiful game.
300 million people suffer from colour blindness worldwide
Approximately 1 in 12 men suffer from colour blindness, and 1 in 200 women, amounting to a worldwide colour blind community of over 300 million people. Colour blindness or Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) as it is technically called, is one of the world’s most common inherited conditions and can impact fans, as illustrated above, and the performance of players, coaches, and referees from grassroots to the highest professional level.
To address and raise awareness of the impact of colour blindness in sport, the European Union has provided funding for the Tackling Colour Blindness in Sport or TACBIS project, which consists of a consortium of partners from across the footballing world, to launch this programme with the support of UEFA and the English FA. High profile ambassadors such as Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes and Jéssica Silva will be continuing to support TACBIS on Colour Blind Awareness Day 2021 carrying on from their valuable support in 2020 when #ColourBlindAwarenessDay achieved over 12.5 million social media impressions helped by their support.
New website provides resources and an educational quiz
The new TACBIS project website will serve as a knowledge hub where players, coaches, fans, and organisations can find free resources, read the results of latest research, check related news, connect with project partners, and find out who the winners of the first ‘Shining a Light on Colour Blindness’ drawing competition will be. The aim of the competition was to bring colour blindness to the attention of the participants, their parents, as well as club and foundation staff members. Drawings of Aston Villa and Sheffield United players will be shared as GIFs showing the differences between normal and colour blind vision on social media.
The TACBIS project partners invite everyone to test their knowledge on colour blindness in a dedicated quiz. Do you know which Danish footballer revealed via a radio show that he is colour blind? Additionally, look out for the videos and photos from leading ambassadors and FAs on social media, and get involved yourself by sharing experiences and content with the hashtags: #ColourBlindAwarenessDay #TACBIS, #1in12men, #1in200women #1in12boys #1in200girls.
Colour Blind Awareness Day is just one of many initiatives undertaken by TACBIS, UEFA and their partners to bring the issue into the public eye, with the funding and support of the EU.