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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Report calls for terracing return
The standing areas at Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen
Safe standing sections at Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen
A new report calling for safe standing areas at football grounds in England and Wales has been launched by the Football Supporters' Federation.

Standing areas were outlawed after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans died in a crush.

FSF head of development Steven Powell said the report had a "well-argued case" for a return to standing.

But the Hillsborough Families Support Group described the call as a "step backwards" for supporters.

A poll of 2,100 fans by the Football Fans Census in March found that 92% of those supporters surveyed wanted clubs to bring back standing areas.

The idea also has the backing of former Sports Minister Kate Hoey, who has said a rational reappraisal of this issue is overdue.


The official inquiry into the Hillsborough tragedy, conducted by Lord Taylor, blamed poor policing and inadequate facilities but the main recommendation was for the introduction of all-seater stadia and the removal of perimeter fencing.

Standing areas are in operation in certain parts of Europe, including Germany's Bundesliga.

Mr Powell added: "I think it's a very well-argued case for safe standing.

"I only hope that the Government and the football authorities sit up and take notice."

But Phil Hammond, who lost his 14-year-old son in the Hillsborough disaster described the association's stance as "unbelievable".

"I am disgusted that they are a football supporters' association," said Mr Hammond.

"They're supposed to be taking the game forward for supporters. Now it looks like they're taking a step back by wanting to go back to standing.

"What they have to respect as well is that when you put standing in stadiums Uefa's rules and regulations say that fencing has got to go up. So do they want us behind fences again?"

But according to the chairman of the FSF, Malcolm Clarke, a return to standing would not mean a return to risking the lives of supporters.

"Hillsborough was caused by pens into which there was no control over the numbers that went into them, fences at the front and poor management," he said.

"There is no reason why those problems shouldn't be addressed just as they have done in Germany to ensure an appropriate level of safety for the risk that there is."

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