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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and show Safety Advisory Group how these rails will ensure safety when the law banning standing during a game will be repealed.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 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.