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Standing areas to be allowed at English football grounds

Supporters will be allowed to stand at certain Premier League grounds from January.  Confirmati...



Standing areas to be allowed a...
Soccer

Standing areas to be allowed at English football grounds

Supporters will be allowed to stand at certain Premier League grounds from January. 

Confirmation of the decision - which will also include selected Championship grounds - was announced today.

It will be the first time in over 25 years that supporters will stand to watch top-flight matches.

The British government today gave their backing to the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) to begin assessing grounds suitable for consideration.

It's understood that the SGSA will evaluate individual clubs' applications after the deadline of October 6th, before embarking on assessing their viability.

It is anticipated that grounds which meet the criteria will be able to facilitate standing supporters from January on a trial basis.

UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We have been clear that we will work with fans and clubs towards introducing safe standing at football grounds providing there was evidence that installing seating with barriers would have a positive impact on crowd safety.

“With independent research now complete, and capacity crowds back at grounds across the country, now is the right time to make progress. I look forward to hearing from clubs who wish to be part of our early adopters programme during the second half of this season.”

The return of standing areas for supporters has been an issue for many supporters groups over recent decades.

One of those that has campaigned is the Football Supporters Association, who were also involved in the Safe Standing initiative.

Chief Executive of the FSA, Kevin Miles, welcomed the news.

“We are beyond delighted to finally claim a win for the FSA’s Safe Standing campaign after extra time, penalties and more than a few replays and postponements.

“Today’s announcement is the result of prolonged and sustained campaigning by football fans – a victory for ordinary people with ordinary jobs who refused to accept the Taylor Report’s contention that standing could not be managed safely."

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