League Cup final first in 35 years to allow safe standing

The League Cup final between Manchester United and Newcastle United on Feb. 26 will have safe standing areas, marking the first time in 35 years that some fans can stand at a domestic final, the English Football League (EFL) said on Thursday.’

Wembley Stadium, which seats 90,000 spectators, will have standing areas behind each goal, with 867 seats available to both clubs’ fans in the East and West Stands.

Grounds in England’s top divisions were converted to all-seater stadiums nearly 30 years ago after Liverpool supporters were crushed in over-crowded and fenced-in areas at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1989, which led to 97 deaths.

“In these areas, fans are allowed to stand for matches in allocated spaces behind a barrier or a rail which prevents them from falling forward,” the EFL said in a statement.

“In all other areas of the stadium supporters must remain seated.”

The decision follows a trial where clubs like Cardiff City, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur offered licensed standing in designated seated areas for home and away fans.

The UK government said in July last year that more British football clubs were to adopt safe standing areas within their stadiums.

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