Standing during English football matches has been banned since April 15, 1989 when the Hillsborough disaster occurred. The unfortunate event took place at the Hillsborough Stadium located in Sheffield, England where 96 people, all Liverpool fans, were killed. Since then no one has been able to stand at a stadium during a football match.
Michel Platini, president of UEFA, has taken the issue into hand after fans have claimed that Werder Bremen allows standing during their domestic games. That is because standing is very much popular in domestic football in Germany and the country counts with many new stadia which offer a special section specifically designed for fans that prefer to stand up and is said to be completely safe by authorities.
The Veltins Arena, home for Schalke 04, has staggered barriers on every fourth step of the standing section and can be easily removed and replaced with seats to host international or European games. The seats in the Werder Bremen stadium have a system where the seats lock up to allow standing.
These are more modern than old terraces and some allege they are much more secure than standing in seated areas. UEFA spokesman told reporters the current rules apply and there are no immediate plans to reinstate standing, but they are willing to discuss the matter and look into new possibilities.
The conference was held in Nyon, Switzerland and included fan representatives from across Europe such as; England, Scotland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and the supporters Direct organizations from the United Kingdom and Germany.
William Gaillard, UEFA’s communications director, stated that to his and others opinions that sitting is the best way to view a football match, but they are open to review the fans’ concerns along with FIFA and they will keep their mind open to new options.