The Football Association has confirmed that it is in favor of safe standing at football grounds in England as long as there is “clear evidence that satisfies the authorities over safety and security.”
A spokesperson for the organization said: “The FA supported the announcement from Sports Minister Tracey Crouch in June to conduct an “external analysis of evidence in relation to the all-seater policy” and supports clubs and leagues in having the option to choose whether they wish to provide standing options for supporters, should there be clear evidence that satisfies the authorities over safety and security.”
The Premier League and EFL (English Football League) have also confirmed that they support clubs’ choice over whether to install safe standing.
Standing in English football’s top two divisions was outlawed by the Football Spectators’ Act in 1989, which was prompted by the findings of the Taylor Report on the Hillsborough tragedy, where 96 fans died. However, fan support for safe standing has grown in recent years across the UK, with Scottish Premiership team Celtic already adopting rail seating at its Celtic Park stadium in Glasgow.
In a recent EFL survey, 94% of the 33,000 respondents said fans should be allowed to choose whether they wanted to stand or sit at games. In a Premier League survey, 70% of fans who attended games agreed that standing should be offered as a choice.
The government review is ongoing, with a conclusion expected by the end of 2018.
August 31, 2018
By Tara Craig