Two years of standing in UEFA Club Competitions demonstrates it is safe. 

Following its meeting in Dublin today, the UEFA Executive Committee announced that it has approved the extension of its Standing Facilities Observer Programme to five additional countries, taking the total number to ten. 

Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, Portugal, and Austria will now join Germany, France, England, Spain, and Italy in being permitted to use, in line with domestic regulations, standing tribunes for all UEFA club competition games. The permission covers both home and away sectors were standing facilities are available (and visiting clubs choose to use them). 

This follows on from permission being given to clubs in Germany, France, and England at the beginning of the 2022-23 season as a part of UEFA’s Standing Facilities Observer Programme. 

Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and supporters’ organisations from across the continent had campaigned for UEFA to change its policy on standing at football stadia through our successful continent-wide ‘Europe Wants to Stand’ campaign. 

Despite Spain, Italy, and Portugal being included in the Observer Programme on the basis of the UEFA Access List, these countries are unlikely to take part next season due to either domestic legal boundaries or a lack of facilities at present.  

FSE hopes these countries will be encouraged by the positive findings in Germany, France, and England and will move to dismantle regulatory or infrastructural roadblocks to improve experiences for supporters. In recent years, France, England, Scotland, and the Netherlands have all successfully reintroduced standing in stadiums. Standing also helps to keep match tickets affordable, as identified in FSE’s UEFA Club Competition Away Ticket Price Analysis

FSE Executive Director Ronan Evain said: “Standing at matches positively contributes to the atmosphere of games enormously, is a significant element of fan culture across the continent, and helps to lower the pricing for these games generally. We commend UEFA for adding new countries into its Standing Facilities Observer Programme and we’re pleased to see that the initial pilot countries have demonstrated this. 

“We welcome the continuation of UEFA’s evidence-based approach on standing, considering the needs and expectations of active fans. This is about giving fans a choice in how to support their team in a safe manner, just as they do during domestic fixtures.”

Europe Wants to Stand campaign coordinator and FSE Board member Gregor Weinreich said: “At my club, Bayern Munich, we have now enjoyed two years of standing at UCC games. It has demonstrated that standing at European matches is just as safe as it is during domestic matches.  

“The extension of the Observer programme is the logical next step to broaden the base of evidence supporting the case for standing during UCC matches. We are hopeful that the continued evidence gathering will inform revisions to UEFA’s regulations in seasons to come.” 

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