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UEFA agree to more safe standing across its competitions

UEFA have announced today that it has approved the extension of its Standing Facilities Observer Programme to five more countries, following the success of safe standing in Germany, France, England, Spain and France.

This now means that safe standing sections will now be permitted for UEFA club competition games in the Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland Portugal and Austria. In total, safe standing will now be used across ten different countries for UEFA club matches.

safe standing
Safe standing is about to become more prominent across UEFA competitions – Photo by Icon Sport

The permission to use safe-standing covers both home and away sections providing the regulations within the section are in line with domestic rules. It isn't anticipated that all clubs from the newly permitted countries will roll out safe standing in UEFA competitions next season, but work can now be done to make safe standing more prominent across Europe.

Football Supporters Europe respond to safe standing announcement

Football Supporters Europe (FSE) have long been huge advocates for safe standing sections across European football so the announcement today represents a win for the group. In a statement, FSE Executive Director, Ronan Evain said:

“Standing at matches positively contributes to the atmosphere of games enormously, is a significant element of fan culture across the continent, and helps to lower the pricing for these games generally.

“We commend UEFA for adding new countries into its Standing Facilities Observer Programme and we’re pleased to see that the initial pilot countries have demonstrated this.

“We welcome the continuation of UEFA’s evidence-based approach on standing, considering the needs and expectations of active fans. This is about giving fans a choice in how to support their team in a safe manner, just as they do during domestic fixtures.”

A view from a fan

Bayern Munich fan and FSE Board member, Gregor Weinreihc added:

“At my club, Bayern Munich, we have now enjoyed two years of standing at UCC games. It has demonstrated that standing at European matches is just as safe as it is during domestic matches.

“The extension of the Observer programme is the logical next step to broaden the base of evidence supporting the case for standing during UCC matches. We are hopeful that the continued evidence gathering will inform revisions to UEFA’s regulations in seasons to come.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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