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Football Stadium News Recap – February 2019


Monthly Football Stadium News-February 2019

Millwall Win Marred by Fan Violence

It is now quite usual to find violence; taking over the EPL opposing teams and pitch invasion during a match played by Millwall.  With these permanent features, opposing teams are finding nothing pretty whenever they are scheduled to play at The Den.  The one thing which they can be sure of is that there will be a lot of action as Millwall has now established their role as a giantkiller.  In their fifth successive win against Everton on their home ground they have again kept this tradition. 

Their latest win witnessed a lot of ups and downs when they hit back while legging behind and won the match with a third goal in the last few minutes remaining for the final whistle.  The only blemish on this game was a statement released by Metropolitan Police which stated that they are investigating a skirmish between the fans of both clubs which resulted in one man getting slashed over the face with a sharp weapon.    

Molineux Stadium Fitted With Safe Standing Rails

Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. has become the first team of EPL which has installed safe standing rails at its home ground.  As per the latest updates, the Molineux Stadium got installed with three types of safe standing rails and seats.  This mix of rails and seats is currently installed in the Billy Wright Stand and comes with separate barriers.  This is done to educate the fans and show Safety Advisory Group how these rails will ensure safety when the law banning standing during a game will be repealed. 

Apart from these special seats, Wolves are also planning to construct barriers in front of the prevailing seats.  These improvements in the sitting arrangement will help the Wolves to conduct Bundesliga style matches on their home ground.

Egypt Selects Six Venues for 2019 Africa Cup

As per the latest news, Egypt will opt for Cairo International Stadium on the outskirts of its capital along with Port Said Stadium as a part of the six avenues selected for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.  This decision was taken by Egypt Football Association.  Apart from these venues, EFA has also selected other cities like Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia for conducting a tournament which will foresee a participation of more than twenty teams.  Before this decision, EFA was in favour of selecting eight avenues but after the inspection done by Confederation of African Football, it was decided that only six avenues will be selected for this tournament.

  It should be noted that The Cairo International Stadium was not in use since the Arab Spring and due to the restrictions imposed on the attendance during a football match.

Romania Starts Projects for 2020 UEFA

In the light of the upcoming UEFA Champions League, Romania has started upgrading its sporting infrastructure.  Under this preparation, they have decided to unveils several projects.  The latest one being unveiling of the four football stadiums for the matches to be held in Bucharest.  Out of these four stadiums, Steaua Stadium will have the lions share of the funds as it requires extensive refurbishment.  There is plan in place to increase the size of the stadium along with its facilities with extra twelve thousand square metres. 

After this increase, the total area under usage will be of more than eighty thousand square metres.   The other infrastructural projects related with these stadiums also include creating new facilities such as better view and visitors’ access.  Though the training bases for these stadiums will remain inside the complex, the parking spaces outside of these stadiums will be increased to significant levels.  The other stadiums under reconstruction include the National Rugby Stadium, Giuleşti Stadium and the Dinamo Stadium. 

Brighton To Tackle Abuse in Football      

With rising instances of racial abuse along with threats and violence becoming part of the high-profile football tournaments, Brighton has now decided to take the bull by its horns.  In their latest efforts, this club has now started planning to tackle its fans’ behaviour during the sports events.  After their match with West Brom during the FA Cup, this club had decided to ban three of the fans for a life term. 

These people were indulging in different types of abuses during the match that include assault and threatening club’s officials.  According to the Brighton, it is not a crusade but their responsibility as a team. They are of the opinion that the club will not hide the behaviour of their fans nor they will bury these instances for the sake of their reputation. 

This is totally wrong and not acceptable to the team.  The other thing which forced Brighton to take such a tough stand is the presence of largest LGBT population in their city.  For many years, these people were getting subjugated and were forced to listen to the homophobic calls made during the football matches.  Being uneasy with such a situation, Brighton has now taken a strong view on this subject matter.  They will not allow any type of anti-social behaviour from their fans from now on.

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Football Stadium News-January 2019

Monthly Football Stadium News-January 2019

Libereum Acquires Elche CF

One of the top ranking crypto firms of Spain Libereum has now finally decided to take over the Spanish football club Elche CF. This step by the company is seen as its first bid to use football in order to increase the user base for crypto currency. This combination can be seen as boon for the online sports betting enthusiasts in Spain. As per the latest news, this company had made a bid of €4.3 million to acquire Elche CF.

This is only the first tranche of cash given by the company and it is expected that more money will be part of the deal. Because of this deal, now Libereum will only allow use of ERC20 Liber as the only method of payment for accessing services at its football avenues. According to the founder of Libereum, Cem Kumlar, the main purpose of this acquisition is to take Elche CF back to the Primera Division. As it requires a lot of money, that is where the crypto currency provided by this company can help. Secondly, the company also wants to make its token (coin) to be part of the financial process and now Liber can be used for all types of transactions in and around the club.

Buenos Aires Police Bans Club President

In a totally unexpected move, Buenos Aires police has now barred the president of Almirante Brown to enter any of the football stadium to watch his team in action. The sources from police department have also acknowledged this ban. The sole reason for the ban seems to be the fact that Maximiliano Levy has links with the fan groups of Bocca Juniors FC which were responsible for hooliganism during the football matches. Mr. Levy was selected as the president of club in the previous week and he was immediately banned by  APreViDe. This agency is responsible for preventing violence during the sports events.

APreViDe had also stated the same reason that Maximiliano Levy has relations with Barra Brava of Boca Juniors. Barra Brava is an organized hooligan group allegedly responsible for all the clashes that had happened during matches between local football clubs. According to the secretary general of APreViDe, their agency cannot be complicit with either the mafias, hooligans or ex-members of Barra Brava who want to get legitimacy through boards of the clubs. It is on the records, that Maximiliano Levy was incarcerated for eighty eight days because of his role in protecting the leader of Barra Brava in 2013.

Tottenham Delaying Match With Arsenal

According to the fans of Arsenal, Spurs are scared stiff of facing Arsenal for the first match at their new stadium. The reason for this delay is attributed to the fact that the host team does not want to lose the first ever match played at their home turf. On the other hand, further setbacks had already postponed the chances of opening of the Spurs’ stadium for at least another few weeks. It was expected that Spurs will face their arch rivals in the first week of the March, 2019 but it seems the first match will be played against Crystal Palace rather than with Arsenal.

There are reports suggesting that Tottenham Spurs may have considered the warning given by the local police department with concerns for security during such a match. Meanwhile, the club itself haven’t ruled out that they might invite Arsenal for a match in the coming days. As per the fans of Arsenal, the Spurs are too concerned about their defeat in the first ever match they will play on their new home ground.

FIFA Declares Anthony Modeste’s Transfer Unjustified

Anthony Modeste’s move to join Cologne faced a fresh turmoil, when FIFA declared that his decision to leave the previous club is unjustified. With this new statement, FIFA has now created a doubt over his statement justifying his decision to move back to his old club because Tianjin Quanjian was not able to pay his salary. It was in the news that Anthony Modeste had left the Chinese club in 2018 citing unpaid salary. He then moved on to sign a new contract with Cologne which will be in force till 2023.

Tianjin Quanjian on the other hand is suffering from serious fund crunch and is forced to sell the top most players on its team. After spending two seasons with the Chinese Club, Modeste was required to leave the club due to unpaid dues during the middle of 2018. Then he started training with its ex-club and was expected to appear in the second Bundesliga. However, FIFA has now ruled that his transfer was invalid and even though Tianjin Quanjian FC is required to pay his dues but the way in which Modeste terminated their contract is without any solid reason. In the light of these events, FIFA has now suspended the registration of Modeste with Cologne.

2022 World Cup Host Qatar Doubles Tax on Alcohol

It might be a bad news for the football enthusiasts who are planning to visit Qatar to watch football World Cup in 2022. In the latest turn of events, Qatar has now imposed a tax of hundred percent on sale of alcohol in its territory. This tax which is part of “Six Tax” regimen came into force on January 22, 2019. This new tax is a part of government’s plan to curb the usage of goods that have ill effect on health. In order to do so they have now introduced this new levy. This policy got revealed when the sole alcohol distribution company of Qatar updated its previous list with latest prices.

Now for a six pack of a beer, you will be forced to pay more than £20. In the view of the upcoming World Cup, this price rise can be a very sensitive subject as more than two million international visitors are expected to attend this event.

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Football Stadium News Recap – December 2018

Monthly Football Stadiums News Recap for December 2018

Football Fans Attack Police in Argentina

On November 22nd, a pitched battle took place between the fans of the local football team and the police in Buenos Aires. This incident happened at All Boys stadium when some hooligans attacked the policemen with guns and other weapons resulting in eighteen people being reported injured. Police have made three arrests till now. The trouble started on the Wednesday night when the home team lost a match against Atlanta. While the police was trying to control the situation, a radically organized group called All Boys Barra Brava started assaulting the fans of Atlanta while singing anti-Semitic songs. This group was also seen advancing towards their own team but thankfully they left the stadium.

The police was taken aback as the Barras were armed with highly sophisticated armoury. Later on motorized units of the police were mobilized to control the crowd and three arrests were made. According to the football officials apart from closing the football ground for further events, they will also appeal to the authorities to ban All Boys fans from participating in other football events at least for an year.

Nationwide Launch of Vegan Menus In UK

Going by the latest updates, soon people will have more choice of choosing a vegan menu while visiting football stadiums of UK. According to the concerned officials, Environment Secretary has given full support to this plan and has advised Premier League clubs to consider this request. According to the local news agencies, the football clubs were advised to go green with this initiative and to take their commitment to another level by pledging to such efforts to safeguard the environment. Apart from providing vegan menus, stadiums are also advised to opt for sustainable resources of energy along with a ban on plastic products.

The other requests include creating more charging points of electrical vehicles; reduce the number of away matches and use their influence to encourage fans to have a better carbon footprint. Before laying down such plans, a thorough investigation was done by a national news agency which involved twenty of the top notch football clubs.

It was discovered that no pressure was maintained by the Premier League on these clubs for introducing such environment friendly measures. Even with this lopsided attitude some of the clubs such as Tottenham and Arsenal have introduced plans to ban single used plastics. Other clubs such as Tottenham, Brighton and Huddersfield are already catering vegan and vegetables based meals to their visitors.

Betting Advertisement Cut From Sports Broadcast in UK

Giving a big jolt to the bookmakers, government has decided to ban all types of advertisement from broadcasting live sports events. Though this ban seems to be of big constraint, but It has allowed some air space for the betting agencies.

This restriction has been accepted by the bookmakers without any fuss because it does not bar them from either sponsoring the teams or to flash betting odds during the televised sport events. According to the chairman of the sports betting organization, it is believed that other issues pertaining to advertisement, sponsorship of sport kits and online advertisements will not be interfered and a recognition would be given for all that has been done by the betting industry.

Starting from the summer of 2019, there will be a whistle to whistle ban on advertisements related to betting during all forms of live sports events. This voluntary move by the betting industry will not be forced on horse and greyhound racing. All sorts of betting advertisements will stop five minutes before the commencement of the live event and will start five minutes after the match concludes.

MP Stephen Hepburn Backs Safe Standing

In an unexpected turn of events, Stephen Hepburn, MP from Jarrow, has come out in the support of those people who had signed a petition demanding for safe standing during the premier football matches. Member of Parliament has called upon the treasury benches to allow introduction of a law pertaining to this demand. He has even asked a question from the Sports Minister regarding the subject of safe standing.

He also revealed that out of the 700 petitioners from South Tyneside, 400 are of his own constituency. It was reported that more than hundred thousands of people had signed a petition across the country which led to a discussion in the parliament. The representative of the Westminster assured and confirmed that the incumbent govt is working on a “small analysis” and further announcements will be made in the upcoming year.

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Football Stadium News Recap – September 2018

FA Endorses Safe Standing Concept for Football Stadiums

As per the press release by Football Association, they are officially endorsing the concept of safe standing areas for viewers at the stadiums during the football matches.

A review regarding this subject is already being commissioned by the incumbent government and most probably it will be tabled in the first week of the next month. Premiere League and EFL also support safe-standing and recommend that the football clubs should also be a part of decision making as far as this concept is concerned.

This approval by Football Association can be construed as the approval by all the three governing bodies of English football. All three of these bodies support the merits associated with this case. The research done by Premier League clearly indicates that more than seventy percent of the viewers want the choice of standing while supporting their favourite clubs. The campaigners for the safe standing give out the example of Germany where it is widely allowed and no untoward incident has happened till now.

Napoli Getting Ready to Play in McDonald’s Arena

If we go by the views expressed by Napoli football club’s president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, it seems there is wind of change blowing in Italy. In order to find a new stadium and required funds, Napoli FC is considering the proposal made by the fast food giant McDonald. Napoli is currently using Stadio San Paolo with a seating capacity of more than fifty thousand.

According to the president of the club, this seventy year old stadium is nothing but a “cesspit”. The sources from local media have confirmed that McDonald has approached Napoli in order to provide them with a new stadium. If all goes well then fans of this club can see their favourite players playing at the McDonald’s Arena in the coming days.

Scotland to Remain in Hampden Park

After months of bickering and rumor mongering, it is now clear that Scotland Football Association has taken a decision to reject the possibility of moving to Murrayfield Stadium. After this decision, Scotland will continue to play matches at Hampden Park even after 2020. The series of events related to this news was based on the expiration of the existing contract between Hampden Park and Scottish FA.

This agreement is going to run out in 2020. In the case of non renewal of the agreement, Football Association was left with either of the two choices. The first one was to renew the contract and the second one was to lease the Murrayfield.

After long negotiations and trepidation, the association has taken a decision to purchase the Hampden Park from its owner at a cost of five million pounds. The one half of this amount will be paid by Willie Haughey, the famous Scottish businessman. According to Scottish FA President Alan McRae “Today’s announcement has been the conclusion of a four-year process to review our national stadium beyond 2020. It was a hugely difficult decision and I would like to place on record our thanks to Scottish Rugby for their professionalism throughout the process. This decision is about what was best for Scottish football and our members. It’s about the future of football in Scotland.”

Opening of Tottenham Hotspur’s New Stadium Stands Delayed

There was an expectation that Tottenham Hotspur will play its match against Liverpool scheduled for September 15 at their new stadium. As per to the different sports updates, opening of the new stadium has been delayed for indefinite period of time.

The reasons for this postponement include delay in construction and “problems with the critical safety systems”. In their statement made in August of this year, the management had stated that, “Delays are common, certainly for builds of this size and complexity, however we are hugely frustrated that this has occurred at such a late stage. Whilst we would have been able to mitigate other areas, we simply cannot compromise safety. This decision was unavoidable,”

Due to this delay the upcoming EPL matches against Cardiff and Manchester City along with other Champion’s League games have also been transferred to the national stadium. The most nearest date for the opening of the new White Hart Lane stadium is now slated for the match against Chelsea which is scheduled for November 24, 2018.

Madagascar Football Stadium Stampede

Another tragedy struck when there was a stampede in a qualifier match between Madagascar and Senegal. This match was a African Nations Cup qualifier and resulted in one person being dead and more than forty injured. This incident is another case of the rising stadium deaths in the past few years. This stampede was a result of the failure of the local administration in controlling the crowds that tried to enter all ready full Stade Municipal De Mahamasina stadium.

Thousands of fans were outside the venue waiting for several hours to buy tickets, when gates were suddenly closed stating that stadium is completely full up to its capacity of twenty two thousand. This led to a rush to enter the stadium resulting in a stampede. Even after this tragic incident, the scheduled match proceeded without any hindrance resulting in a draw between the two teams with score of 2-2. Deaths due to stampede is quite common in African continent because of inadequate arrangement by the management as well as the local administration. The worst case was witnessed in Egypt at Port Said Stadium during 2012 as seventy four people died when fans of Al Masry club attacked the supporters of Al Ahly football club.

Safe Standing: A Review of Behaviour for All-Seater Game Event

Currently the government agencies are reviewing idea of safe standing during the football matches. This review is aimed for behavioural analysis of the crowds when they are allowed to stand during such events. These agencies will also try to examine the levels of the risk of injury faced by fans who persistently stand in the seated venues. This ongoing research is due to the fact that two top division football tournaments require all-seater stadiums.

As per the Football Spectator’s Act of 1989, standing is not allowed during “top flight and Championship”. On the other hand, fans of football clubs have demanded for a long time that they should be allowed to stand during these matches as there is better and efficient safe standing technology in place at the stadiums. After an EFL survey and an online petition has prompted the government to have a debate on this issue at the parliament. On the same note, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has issued conditions and terms of reference for such review.

FA Submits Bid for Women’s Euro 2021 Championship

After hosting Euro 2005, England has decided to bid to host another major women’s football championship. Going forward on this agenda, the Football Association has submitted a proposal to host Women’s European Championship for 2021. The head of women’s football, Baroness Campbell, feels that this would be an enormous opportunity for the women’s football to participate in a major championship at their own home ground. This bid was made while keeping in mind that UEFA will want a “bigger and better” tournament and the Wembley Stadium is the key for the final match of this tournament.

The Football Association bid is being supported by the current dispensation following the successful campaign of Euro 2017 that witnessed English Women team reaching the semi-finals. This event was televised live and watched by more than four million viewers in England itself. The final decision by UEFA for granting permission to host this prestigious event will be most probably submitted by the first week of December, 2018. Two other nations, Hungary and Austria are also contending along with England to host Women’s European Championship for 2021.