National & International Sport

Government look to lift ban on standing in football stadiums

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The government are set to announce plans to lift the ban on standing in stadiums in the Premier League and the Championship, according to the BBC.

The BBC also claim that a number of clubs in England’s two top divisions will be able to use designated ‘safe standing’ areas before the end of the current season.

It is thought that official plans could be announced within the next month, allowing fans to legally stand and watch their team for the first time in more than 25 years after the ban was first imposed in stadiums in England and Wales in 1994.

The ban was introduced after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, which led to the death of 97 Liverpool supporters, and meant that all stadiums in the Premier League and the Championship had to be ‘all-seaters.’

Thousands of supporters have continued to stand at football matches since.

In the lead up to the 2019 general election, the Conservatives vowed to review the ban and to work towards the introduction of safe standing areas that have proved successful in Germany and Scotland.

It is understood that the regulator, the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), will now choose ‘early adopters’ to trial the plans and if they prove successful, it is expected that legislation covering England’s top two divisions will follow within the next few years.

A spokesperson for the Sports Ground Safety Authority said: “We are working closely with the government on planning the next steps for implementing this manifesto commitment.”

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters Association, said: “People who want to stand should be able to do so in safety. Those who want to sit should be able to do so without having their view blocked.”

Image source: Medium

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