Cardiff City to apply to be part of safe standing trial for fans

Cardiff City Stadium's Canton Stand will be the first to have new seats with independent barriers fitted
Cardiff City Stadium's Canton Stand will be the first to have new seats with independent barriers fitted

Cardiff City will apply to be part of a scheme to pilot safe standing areas for fans this season.

The Championship side was included in a six-club case study for the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) looking at the return of standing areas.

Since 1994, first and second-tier grounds in England and Wales have been required to be all-seaters by law.

Cardiff City Stadium will have seats with independent barriers installed which comply with the SGSA's criteria.

The 33,280-seater ground also regularly hosts the men's national side, so there is the prospect at some point in the future of Wales supporters also benefiting from any trial.

However, current competition rules would have to change first, as for example Wales' current World Cup qualifications campaign only allows seated spectators under Fifa guidelines.

Clubs have until 6 October to submit an application to the SGSA - the body in charge of ground safety - to be part of the pilot scheme - with the intention to allow those clubs selected to take part to be able to offer licensed standing areas from 1 January.

Along with Cardiff, the CFE Research report for the SGSA included studies of Premier Leagues sides Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford, plus Scottish Premier League team Celtic.

Cardiff City say the new seats with independent barriers will be installed "across all seven bays of the back five rows of the Canton Stand", with the stand meeting the CFE Research definition of a "tolerated standing area".

Further safe standing is planned to be introduced in the away end in 2022/23.

The SGSA says its criteria for taking part in the pilot scheme includes:

  • Having seats with barriers/independent barriers - which must be in both home and away sections
  • Fans must be able to sit or stand in the licensed area
  • Seats cannot be locked in the 'up' or 'down' position and there must be one seat/space per person
  • The licensed standing areas must not impact the viewing standards of other fans, including disabled fans
  • There must be a code of conduct in place for fans in the licensed standing area

Standing in English football's top two divisions was outlawed following recommendations made in the Taylor Report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

In recent seasons, campaigners have called for standing to be allowed in grounds once again. Barrier seating has been developed to provide seats which can also be converted to standing areas.

In 2018, new guidance from the SGSA allowed the use of rail seats.

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