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Our aim is to help individuals, clubs, businesses and federations alike make their sport more inclusive for people with colour blindness. Most people involved in sport, from local clubs to national squads, from players to referees, from children to pensioners, have a passion for what they do – so why not help us ensure that passion can be shared fully with the millions of colour blind people in the UK and across the world?

Please start by watching and sharing this great animation. It is focussed on football but it’s relevant to most sports.

Colour blindness is an important issue in sport – for players, spectators, sponsors and broadcasters – from the grass roots through to the highest professional level. It can impact on a person’s performance, spoil the enjoyment of watching sport (live or on TV) and have an adverse effect on revenues if colour blind people turn their back on sport in frustration.

How many people are affected?

Statistically one in 12 males and one in 200 females have some form of colour blindness. In many team sports this means at least one player in every male squad!


Implications for players are extremely important to consider. We are committed to ensuring colour blind players receive the support they need from clubs, leagues and governing bodies to eliminate discrimination (albeit usually inadvertent) across all sports and levels. Our TACBIS project (see below) is undertaking ground-breaking research to

  • prove prevalence of colour blind players at all levels across a range of sports
  • to identify barriers to progression, such as lack of knowledge amongst coaches.

See separate sections for Players and on Coaching, Kit and Equipment for more information on the challenges faced by colour blind players and how coaches can provide proper support.  In the Players section you can also learn more about our ground-breaking research into the prevalence of colour blindness amongst elite sportspeople and watch a panel discussion on the implications for sport.


Close to 3 million people have CVD (colour vision deficiency) in the UK. In a stadium context, at a capacity football event at Wembley stadium over 5,500 spectators will be colour blind. In a worldwide sense, EURO 2020 had a live unique reach of 1.9 billion viewers. Statistically speaking over 102 million of these viewers would have been colour blind! For a kit ‘clash’ game mind-boggling numbers of people can potentially be excluded.

Failure to acknowledge the difficulties for colour blind people risks alienating them in significant numbers, however they engage with sport. There are also safety issues to consider, for both players (colour blind or not) and for fans. For example, what if there is a security alert in a stadium?

Spectators with CVD might not be able to spot the emergency evacuation signs depending on the colour of the sign – see: Stadia and Grounds – Wayfinding and Security. This type of incident could result in serious repercussions for the individuals involved and also for the venue operator. Stadium safety authorities take these issues very seriously indeed and for this reason we work closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority and have official Observer Status to the Council of Europe Committee on Stadium Safety, Security and Service (ProS4+).

Tackling Colour Blindness in Sport (the TACBIS Project)

In 2019 we applied for EU Erasmus+ Sport funding as part of a Collaborative Partnership called Tackling Colour Blindness in Sport (TACBIS) and we were delighted when the bid was successful. The EU funding will allow us to investigate the prevalence of colour blindness in professional sport (primarily football), to identify barriers to progression for colour blind players as well as strategies to overcome these. We are proud to be working alongside some amazing TACBIS project partners including The European Football Development Network (EFDN), The National Associations of Iceland, Portugal, Romania, Danish Superliga Club Randers FC and Oxford Brookes University.

The TACBIS project began in January 2020 and will run for three years, culminating in the presentation of the outcomes to an International conference in Budapest in November 2022. Resources will also be created to support a variety of different sports and clubs. Follow the progress of the project on social media via #TACBIS and look out for the annual major activities in support of Colour Blind Awareness Day.

Colour blind sportspeople

Statistically speaking the numbers of colour blind sportspeople playing different sports at elite level will be huge. However, very few are happy to speak up about their condition for fear of it affecting their careers. Although we are aware of quite a few, we are not comfortable about naming them without their express permission, unless they have publicly spoken about it. Some people happy to speak up are Sir Bill Beaumont, Chair of World Rugby, Sir Ian Botham and Danish International footballer Thomas Delaney.

We are very grateful to be supported by others whose endorsement and first-hand stories of personal experience are invaluable when highlighting the issues of colour blindness in sport. Retired International footballer Matt Holland has spoken out in the FA/UEFA Guidance Notes and we’re also very grateful to be supported by Rugby Union’s Mike Blair and former rugby Test referee Dave Pearson.

Mike BlairColour blindness has long been ignored and misunderstood, not just in sport, also in wider society. As someone with colour blindness I know first-hand the challenges that colour blindness can bring in terms of enjoying everyday events such as watching or playing sport, from grass roots to international level. Colour Blind Awareness does a great job of highlighting the many challenges colour blind people face, especially children just embarking on their sporting life and they work hard to remove the barriers that prevent colour blind people from fully engaging in something they love.

Mike Blair, Former international rugby player, Scotland Captain and British Lion

Also see Players  for a list of high profile, colour blind sportspeople and to find out what some elite footballers who are not colour blind discovered when they experienced being colour blind themselves.


Colour blind fans face a lot of challenges when trying to watch sport. The most frustrating problem is caused by kit ‘clashes’ where both team kits appear to be the same colour. Fans have recently become very vocal on social media every time this happens, attracting mainstream press attention and forcing competition organisers to take steps to address these issues  (such as revising kit regulations). Unfortunately there is still a lot of work to be done, but some progress has been made.

Other issues can be caused by inaccessible ticketing portals, club or competition websites and unhelpful merchandise labelling all of which can have a commercial impact if colour blind fans give up without making a purchase.

Arriving at a venue can also be  challenge if wayfinding information is given in colour only, or if emergency signage and equipment is difficult to spot. For more information see Stadia and Grounds.

To find out more about the everyday frustrations for colour blind football fans read our report created for the Football Supporters Association here Report of Colour Blind Football Fans’ Focus Group.

How can we help?

The good news is that implementing procedures to assist and protect those with colour blindness in sport is relatively simple. Much of the time, all that’s needed is a little goodwill and forward planning. For example, avoid choosing team kits that clash, don’t use a colour ball that CVD players and viewers can’t make out easily, make sure colours used on the club website are legible for those with CVD. For more information on how we can help see Solutions and Services for Sport. 

Many leading organisations are already working with us to improve access to sport. We have worked closely with UEFA and the English FA  for many years, developing the first Guidance document for football in 2017. We also created the first guidance on colour blindness for rugby union for World Rugby in 2021. Our clients include clubs, leagues, national associations and governing bodies. For an overview of the work we are doing at International level in sport see Colour Blind Awareness in Sport 2022.

Often a lack of awareness about CVD is the cause of unwitting discrimination, but that does not make it acceptable. At Colour Blind Awareness, we are spreading the word in the sporting world, working together with governing bodies, National federations, clubs and stadiums. We frequently present at key events and advise organisations across Europe.

UEFA speaker© UEFA

The clip below, taken from the UEFA interview of colour blind elite coach Lars Lagerbäck (see Coaching, Kit and Equipment) , shows that if two teams play in kit colours which appear the same (like in the right-hand section of the video), then it’s almost impossible for colour blind players and spectators to tell them apart.


Find out more about the diagnosis of colour blindness
Find out more about the causes of colour blindness
Find out more about the different types of colour blindness