"Time is right for safe standing in football grounds" - Andrew Rt Davies

First published in News by

COMMENTING on reports that the Liberal Democrats plan to re-introduce "safe standing" areas at football grounds, Regional AM Andrew RT Davies has said that the time is right for a pilot scheme.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Mr Davies has led the campaign in Wales, securing cross-party support for a trial following a historic vote at the National Assembly for Wales in June.

Assembly Members voted 26 to one in favour of introducing a pilot scheme in Wales, something which would require consent from the Westminster Government.

Mr Davies recently wrote to the Sports Minister Helen Grant calling for UK Government consent to introduce a limited trial in Welsh football stadia.

"For several years now I have been leading calls for a limited trial of safe standing to be introduced here in Wales" said Mr Davies.

"We need to be absolutely satisfied that safety concerns can be overcome and the European experience suggests that modern stadium technologies make this possible.

"Ultimately this is also a question of equality. How can it be safe to stand at the rugby but not at football grounds?

“Football fans are unfairly stigmatised by a piece of legislation which was drafted in a different era, to address a different set of problems.

"Clearly fan safety has to be the top priority but the continental experience has shown that standing areas can be incorporated safely, dramatically improving the atmosphere at games.

“I believe that it’s time for the UK Government to listen to the fans and to look at this issue again. I look forward to working proactively with colleagues from all sides of the National Assembly to take the discussion forward.”

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