Football fans will be allowed to stand at Champions League, Europa League and Conference League matches in Germany, England and France this season in a move welcomed by those who have campaigned on the issue for years.
In the form of a test, according to the German magazine Sportschaud, yet another dose of atmosphere for European matches.
According to information from the German magazine Sportschaud , the UEFA executive committee will authorize European clubs to offer standing places in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa League Conference this season. The measure is valid for one season in France, England and Germany. The body also authorized it in Spain and Italy, but no stadium of the teams qualified for the European Cup in these countries is adapted to accommodate standing spectators.
If clubs so wish, standing room will also be available for the visiting public. This measure only concerns European Cup matches for the moment, outside the measures taken by each championship. If this “test” device is satisfactory, it could be extended to other countries. The German magazine specifies that standing places will be possible “in accordance with local and national laws”.
A real revolution for German clubs
In Germany, standing places are part of the football world and bring more warmth to the stands every weekend. Almost all Bundesliga stadiums have them. Their authorization in the European Cup could totally upset the plans of several clubs. Dortmund, for example, which has more than 25,000 standing places in its stadium, should give up transforming them into seats for its European matches.
Sportschau also indicates that this decision could push Union Berlin to give up moving to the Olympic stadium for its Europa League matches. The ratio of standing room to seating is unusual in the Union Stadium, there are more than 18,000 standing room at the Alte Försterei, but less than 4,000 seating. It remains to be seen whether UEFA will accept such a low seating ratio.
The case of England and France
In England, several big clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United, FC Liverpool, FC Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur have standing room in their stadiums. This is also the case for Wembley. In France, standing has been authorized again since 2018, whereas it was prohibited before, after a decision taken in the 1990s. It is already a small revolution, which could take on greater proportions if standing places came to last in the long term in the European Cup. At the end of April, UEFA had communicated to say that discussions were underway regarding standing room in football stadiums.
Source: Praslin Bonnet and DW