Standing in English Soccer Stadiums – The Principal Reasons For and Against It.

Standing in English Soccer Stadiums – the Principal Reasons for and Against It.

In this feature on soccer scoreboards, I will look at the debate concerning standing being allowed in English soccer stadiums once again. Is it good idea, or should things be left as they are?

20 years ago, standing in English soccer stadiums was banned, because of what is known as the Hillsborough disaster. It happened during an FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool in 1989. Because in those days standing was allowed on terraces, one of these terraces collapsed, and 96 people died as a result.

Since then, these standing terraces have been abolished. But a lot of people want to bring them back, since they claim the atmosphere just isn’t the same without them. Somehow, the charm of watching the game is increased when there are standing areas in the stadium. These terraces are still widespread in Germany, so if they can have it, then why can’t England?

Obviously, the main reason behind the terrace ban is the fans’ safety. It is the well-being of the fans and players that should be the priority of all stadiums. No one would like to go to a soccer match and then never come home. Stadiums that are all seated have less likelihood of anything going wrong, and lives being lost

Also, it’s not just rowdy, drunk, rough men that go to these games anymore. A lot of women and young children attend soccer games, and when it comes to children’s safety, parents will not take them anywhere if this is an issue. Putting people’s lives at risk is simply not worth the atmosphere. This is not to say that there isn’t any atmosphere at stadiums that are all-seated. There have been some great games and great atmosphere at all-seated stadiums in the past, and it’s unfair to say that it all depends on an having all-standing terraces.

But proponents of all-standing areas disagree. These, naturally, are usually the fans that like to stand in those areas, and as Germany can make it work well, the question is, why can’t England? The Bundesliga in Germany is a perfect model to strive for. Standing terraces are a vital part of the game for voracious fans and some people from England make special trips to Germany just for the experience. Of course, a critical part of this experience is the standing terraces, and nothing has ever gone wrong there. But is it because the German fans are different somehow? Maybe they are better behaved than English fans in general. In any case, the “atmosphere” argument is not strong enough to bring the terraces back to English stadiums, unfortunately, and the bigwigs who have the power to change the rules regarding standing terraces have made it clear that they are not going to let standing return to soccer any time soon.

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