MPs invite views on stadia safety after Paris fiasco

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MPs are to study safety issues at major sporting events following problems at football games in recent months.

The inquiry comes after several high profile matches saw violence on both sides. At the Champions League final played at the Stade de France in Paris this May, police fired tear gas on surging crowds of fans who had reportedly been waiting at security checks for up to four hours.

Fans arrive to watch a football match at Wembley stadium. Photograph: iStock

Then, on 11 July 2021, 2,000 ticketless fans stormed Wembley stadium to gain access to the Euro 2020 final against Italy, attacking stewards, police and other fans in the process. A review by Dame Louise Casey found the chaos created a situation in which people could have been killed.

Announcing its new inquiry, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee said it will consider whether crowd management policies at stadiums in the UK are enough to keep spectators safe. It will also look at steps to protect British supporters at major events abroad.

Issues of safe standing and drinking alcohol at matches, and whether there need to be changes to regulations governing fans at matches, will also be under review.

Chair of the DCMS Committee Julian Knight MP said: “The chaotic scenes at Wembley 12 months ago show what can happen when those responsible for keeping people safe are caught flat footed by the scale of an occasion, with a lack of preparation and foresight allowing a small minority of people to put supporters under threat.

“With several sporting showcases coming up here and further afield and possible legislative changes following the football fan-led review, it is imperative that lessons are learnt from these past failings to avert even more serious outcomes for spectators. The Committee’s inquiry will make sure that the right steps are being taken, so these occasions are spectacles for the right reasons and attending is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”

Consultation closes 8 September:


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