PSG: stands at the Parc des Princes for the Champions League

This is a victory for many groups of supporters who have made this a long-standing claim. UEFA announced on Wednesday the launch of a trial allowing the return of spectators to the standing stands at matches in European men’s club competitions, starting next season. This experiment is currently limited to France, but also to Germany and England, three countries among the top five in the UEFA ranking and where some of the stadiums have spaces without seats where supporters can encourage their team .

In France, two of the six clubs involved in the continental competitions are qualified due to the configuration of their stadium according to the association of Football Supporters Europe (FSE): PSG and Nantes. What the Parisian club confirmed to Parisian-Today in France. “At the Parc des Princes, 1,500 places in the Auteuil bend will be dedicated to the Champions League, he explained. Initially, UEFA required clubs to have seats with backrests so that all supporters can sit a number in the seat so as not to exceed the capacity of the stands. »

1500 seats at Auteuil corner

“Since last season, the club has changed 1,500 seats in the Auteuil bend, equipping itself with metal seats that make it possible to condemn the seat for Ligue 1 matches. There are two reasons for this : it is more practical for supporters who want to remain standing and it avoids destruction due to supporters climbing on it, continues PSG. Now, UEFA has removed, on trial, the rule that there is a seat for each supporter, and PSG is eligible for the trial period. So we will not be forced to open the seat for every game in the Champions League. »

In La Beaujoire, Canaries supporters can benefit from it at the Tribune Loire during Europa League matches. The device will be tested during all the home games of these teams, and it will be until a potential semi-final. None of the finals will be affected.

Standing positions have largely disappeared in Europe after various tragedies, such as that of Heysel in Belgium in 1985, Hillsborough in the United Kingdom in 1989 or that of Furiani, in Corsica, in 1992. In the same year, France voted and law that imposes that “Only the seats can be given in the stands”. In 1994, England also banned these positions. UEFA no longer wants to hear about it, especially since its former president Michel Platini (2007-2015) experienced the Heysel disaster from the turf of the Brussels stadium where he faced Liverpool in the Champions League final with Juventus Turin.

A return in 2018 to France

But gradually the thinking changed. Germany took advantage of the 2006 World Cup being organized on its soil to modernize its stadiums, installing modular seats and security bars to avoid too many supporters below the stands. Dortmund’s infamous “Yellow Wall” is the most famous example of this in the Bundesliga. In France, the Professional Football League (LFP) launched a trial in 2018 in Amiens, Lens, Saint-Étienne and Sochaux. The experiment was considered conclusive, and has since been extended to other professional areas of the club, such as Strasbourg, Dijon, Valenciennes or Paris.

England experienced a cultural revolution in January when five clubs – Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the Premier League, Cardiff in the Championship – began their standing stand test in official matches. And now it is UEFA’s turn to follow this experiment.

“UEFA will appoint independent experts to analyze the use of standing room facilities in domestic and international club matches in the aforementioned countries. They will be tasked with evaluating the different dynamics between local and international supporters and the safety and security implications, the body said in its statement. At the end of the 2022-2023 season, based on the reports sent by the mandated experts, the UEFA administration will examine the conclusions that obtained from the program and submit the results to the UEFA Executive Committee, which will decide whether the program can be continued or extended. »

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