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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 11:38 GMT
Fans to fly high after match ban
Generic picture of an airship
Fans on-board will get an aerial view of the play
Thirty Cardiff City football fans hope to have a birds-eye view of the next away game when they watch it from an airship above the pitch.

It follows a decision by Wolverhampton Wanderers to ban all Bluebirds fans from the match on 20 January.

Organiser Steve Day believes no rules were being broken by spending "a few thousand" to charter the airship, which will fly in international air space.

The ban follows crowd trouble at two previous matches.

The official supporters' clubs at both clubs have called for the ban to be scrapped.

Mr Day said he and a friend came up with the idea after talks between the two clubs failed to overturn the ban on allowing Cardiff fans at the Molineux ground.

"Years ago my mate and I were going to hire an airship for a match we couldn't get tickets to," he explained.

We looked at the rules and... there is nothing about air restrictions
Steve Day

"But the wind was bad and we eventually managed to get tickets so we never did it, so that's where the idea came from.

"We've been banned from going to the game and so we talked about it again.

"We looked at the rules and think there wouldn't be any problem in doing this because there is nothing about air restrictions in the ban."

Mr Day said the airship which was "costing a few thousand" had been booked and had room for 30 people on-board.

"We've got about 100 people interested, so we may well try and get some sponsorship for another airship," he said.

Wolverhampton's ground
Seats will only be sold to fans with a booking history with the club

The chartered airship, which has an aviation permit, will be piloted in international air space.

It has been booked for nine hours on the day of the match and the group plan to fly to the town hall in Wolverhampton on the day to support a demonstration against the ban by other Bluebirds fans.

Then it will fly to the stadium and hover above the pitch for the duration of the game giving those on-board, armed with binoculars, an aerial view of the match.

'Loophole'

"We will take a few drinks and sandwiches on-board and have a bit of fun," said Mr Day.

"Apparently it's a bit rickety and it's non-smoking but it should be good.

"All those aboard are Cardiff City supporters and are aggrieved at not seeing the game and we wanted to make our point and have a bit of fun.

"We looked at the law and found a loophole," he added.

West Midlands Police said the flight was a matter for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

A CAA spokesman said providing the airship operator kept within regulations, which apply to all aircraft, the flight would be allowed.

Wolves have indicated that the decision to ban the Bluebirds fans was taken "owing to problems with visiting supporters over the past two seasons".

Seats will only be sold to home fans with a history of buying tickets.

Two police officers were taken to hospital and 17 people arrested by West Midlands Police for disturbances inside and outside Molineux at the last match in March.

Cardiff City FC were later charged by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) for failing to control their fans at the game, but these charges were dismissed at a FAW hearing on Tuesday.

The club said in light of this, the decison to ban fans was "now even more disappointing".




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"The Cardiff City players will have seen us"



SEE ALSO
Cardiff angered by Wolves fan ban
12 Nov 06 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff charged over unruly fans
05 Aug 06 |  Cardiff City

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