Sunderland Bans Stand-Up Supporters, English Soccer Team Suspends Fans’ Season Tickets for Standing During Games

Sunderland season ticket banSunderland’s Stadium of Light is a great place to watch a soccer game — unless you’re inclined to stand for all 90 minutes. If that’s the case, then you’re not really welcome there.

The Premier League soccer team suspended the season tickets of fans who persistently stand during its home games. The seats belonging to those fans have been taped up, and a sign reading “This season card has been suspended due to persistent standing” was placed on their backs, according to the Press Association.

“We certainly don’t wish to spoil the enjoyment of any supporters, we want a vibrant lively matchday atmosphere just as much as the fans do, but we also have legal obligations that we must be seen to be adhering to,” Sunderland  head of safety and security Paul Weir said.

“We also have a duty of care to all of our supporters, including elderly and disabled fans who have contacted us very concerned that their enjoyment on a match day is being compromised because people around them stand throughout the game.

“Naturally we want to ensure a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone at the Stadium of Light and we’d ask supporters to listen to requests from stewards and help us to eradicate persistent standing for the sake of all fans.”

Sunderland says it has received an “increasing number of complaints” about fans standing through most of the action. Many complaints reportedly came from fans in the South Stand. There’s no word on the duration of the suspension.

The 49,000-seat facility is one of the finest in the English game, but Sunderland has struggled to fill it this season, averaging 40,088 spectators in nine home games.

It’s ironic that Sunderland would tape up a seat because a fan spends too much time standing. What if that fan finally heeded a warning and wanted to sit down?

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

Photo via Twitter/@Jordan Bissett

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