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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Friday, 11 January, 2002, 01:08 GMT
Football fans take a stand
Football terrace
Some fans want to see a return to the terraces
Football fans are to press Parliament to back a Bill they hope will herald a return to standing in football grounds.

MPs from across the political spectrum will also come together behind the Football Spectators Bill at its second reading on Friday.

The Bill has been signed by 73 members including former Labour ministers Kate Hoey and Frank Field, Liberal Democrat Bob Russell and senior Conservative Sir George Young.


This is about letting the government and chairmen know that we've not forgotten about this issue and it's not something that is going to go away

Gary Hewitt,
Safe areas for England
It proposes giving the right to local authorities and clubs to decide if they would like to have safe standing areas in their grounds which are currently all-seater.

It is the second attempt to get the Bill on to the statute book.

On the previous occasion, last November, it was talked out.

It is widely thought that the same will happen this time, although some of the campaigners behind the Bill simply want to get the issue of safe standing back on the public agenda.

Gary Hewitt, a founder member of Safe Areas for England (SAFE), is leading a delegation of football fans to the Commons to lobby in favour of the Bill.

He said: "This is about letting the government and chairmen know that we've not forgotten about this issue and it's not something that is going to go away."

But the issue has proved controversial in the past with families of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy voicing opposition.

See also:

27 Feb 01 | Football
Hoey renews terraces call
22 Dec 00 | Football
Football split over terrace return
22 Dec 00 | Football
Disaster families criticise Hoey
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