The long-running campaign to introduce safe standing in English football stadiums has taken one big step forward with the Football Association coming out in support of proposals for it.
With the Premier League and Championship also in support of safe standing’s introduction, it is now up to the government to decide, with the outcome of an ongoing review expected by the end of the year.
It would mean new areas introduced to football stadiums in England such as the Etihad Stadium, Old Trafford and Emirates with European-style rail seating designed to let fans stand in a safer environment – which many believe would help atmospheres around England.
Standing was banned in 1989 following recommendations from the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.
Almost every stadium has an area where fans can unofficially stand, such as South Stand level one and the ‘Kippax corner’ at the Etihad Stadium, but safe standing would improve the experience for ‘hardcore’ fans who like to sing and stand.
Up north in Scotland, Celtic have already introduced rail seating at their Celtic Park stadium, while many top European leagues, such as Germany, have utilised it effectively.
Should its introduction be approved, Manchester City bosses will have to decide where to integrate it, with the South Stand likely to be a leading candidate given that it is where the majority of singers are based.
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