Chelsea v Liverpool to mark return of safe-standing in the top flight
Chelsea FC will host the first safe-standing football match in the top flight for nearly three decades.
The London club will play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on January 2 with thousands of fans able to stand up throughout the game.
The Blues’ application to be part of a safe-standing trial has been approved by sports minister Nigel Huddlestone.
Rivals Tottenham Hotspur have also seen its safe-standing application approved, alongside Manchester United, Manchester City and Cardiff City.
Standing in stadiums was previously outlawed by the Taylor Report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which caused the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans.
Since 1994, stadiums in the first and second tiers of English football have been required to be all-seater venues.
Criteria for safe-standing include independent barriers for seats, one space per person, and a code of conduct for fans.
Huddleston said: “I’m pleased to approve these five clubs as early adopters of licensed safe standing areas for the second half of the season. The time is now right to properly trial safe standing in the Premier League and Championship ahead of a decision on a widespread roll-out.”
The trial is being monitored by CFE Research.
Its findings will be sent to the government, which will make decision on a wider roll-out for next season.