Chelsea will have safe standing in place for Liverpool clash after 30-year ban comes to an end

CHELSEA have confirmed that licensed safe standing will be in operation for their January 2 clash with Liverpool.

Standing at top-flight football matches in England has been banned for 30 years.

But that will come to an end next month, with three Prem clubs having been given permission to take part in a pilot scheme.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United will all allow standing in selected areas of their stadiums for matches in January.

The first of these will be when the Blues take on Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

Areas within the Matthew Harding Stand and the Shed End will be used for standing – with rail seating having already been installed.

In a club statement, Chelsea said: "For the Liverpool game and subsequent trial games, all supporters with tickets in the safe standing areas are allocated a seat as usual but now have the option of standing during the game at their allocated seat.

"Should they wish to they can remain seated but they must be aware that surrounding fans may stand and there is no dedicated area only for those who wish to sit.

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"The trial does not extend to Champions League games. Rail seating will operate as previously this season for matches in that competition."

They later added: "The introduction of licensed standing areas is based on evidence of a safety risk for fans who persistently stand in seated areas. In addition, many fans want the choice to stand and, with the advent of new engineering solutions, the SGSA’s research has shown this can be managed safely.

"The early adopters will be evaluated through independent research and the findings, anticipated in the second half of the season, will inform subsequent SGSA advice to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) about the potential wider roll out of licensed standing from the start of next season.

"It should be noted that standing in any other areas of the stadium is not permitted."

Man United's clash with Wolves on January 3 could be their first match with safe standing, while Spurs will likely follow suit with their January 9 FA Cup tie against Morecambe.

Championship Cardiff City are also taking part in the pilot scheme.

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