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Standing to be allowed at English Premier League matches for first time in 30 years******
LONDON, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Standing at Premier League matches in England, banned following the country's worst-ever tragedy, is to be allowed for the first time in nearly 30 years, it was announced Monday.。
The match between Chelsea and Liverpool on January 2 will be the first to allow fans to stand during the match.。
Standing on the main terraces of matches in Britain was a key feature of the games until 97 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at the Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.。
Since then, top-flight clubs have been ordered to introduce all-seater stadiums.。
Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea and Championship side Cardiff have, like Chelsea, also had their applications to be part of a safe standing trial approved.。
In a statement Monday night, Chelsea FC said its application to be an early adopter of licensed safe standing from January 1, 2022 has been approved by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and the Government Sports Minister.。
"This is a historic change of policy to allow standing in top-flight football grounds in England and Wales for the first time in nearly 30 years," read a statement released by the club.。
"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, research has shown this can be managed safely."
Chelsea FC has already installed rail seating to areas at Stamford Bridge to facilitate safe standing.。
"We are very pleased that we have been approved to operate licensed safe standing areas and that our club will be an early adopter of this historic change in policy," said Chelsea CEO Guy Laurence. "The research and evidence shows that standing can be managed safely, and we look forward to our supporters enjoying this enhanced experience at the earliest opportunity in the new year."
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said fans deserve different options on how they can enjoy a live match and "I will be watching the progress of these trials with interest."
Early adopters of standing will be evaluated from January through independent research. The findings, anticipated in the second half of the 2021-22 season, will inform subsequent SGSA advice to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) about the potential wider rollout of licensed standing from the start of the 2022-23 season. Enditem。
Putin puts Russian deterrence forces on combat duty******
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country's deterrence forces to be placed on "a special mode of combat duty" in a Sunday meeting with top defense officials.
Senior officials of leading NATO members issued "aggressive statements" against Russia, Putin said at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov.
Putin said Western countries are imposing "illegitimate sanctions" against Russia's economy.
The decision to put the deterrence forces on combat duty was made as Russia has been conducting "a special military operation" in Ukraine since early Thursday.
Russian forces had destroyed 975 Ukrainian military infrastructure objects, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday morning.
Russia has blockaded several cities in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Dutch skaters clean sweep men's 1,000m medals at speed skating World Cup******
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Dutch skaters dominated the men's 1,000 meters race here on Sunday with a clean sweep of the medals at the speed skating World Cup.。
Thomas Krol clocked a winning time of one minute and 6.448 seconds with Kjeld Nuis and Hein Otterspeer taking the silver and bronze in 1:06.867 and 1:06.959 respectively.。
Meanwhile, Takagi Miho of Japan dominates the women's 1,500m as she beat the rest of the field by nearly a second and a half to capture her second gold in this World Cup in Salt Lake City. Following her triumph in the 1,000m on Saturday, the Japanese star clocked a time of 1:49.99, just 0.16 seconds shy of her own world record, for her third consecutive victory in the 1,500m this season.。
"The goal was to skate under one minute and 50 seconds and I managed. I'm very happy to pull that off under these circumstances (not the ideal low air pressure due to weather conditions)," said Takagi.。
Takagi's compatriot Sato Ayano finished in 1:51.468 to take the silver with the bronze going to Antoinette de Jong of the Netherlands, who crossed the line in 1:51.722.。
In the second men's 500m race, Morishige Wataru of Japan was crowned with a time of 33.997 seconds. Artem Arefyev of Russia came in second in 34.003 while Laurent Dubreuil of Canada was third in 34.053.。
Also on Sunday, Ivanie Blondin of Canada beat Marijke Groenewoud of the Netherlands and Sofie Karoline Haugen from Norway to claim the women's mass start title and the United States snatched the gold in the men's team pursuit ahead of Norway and Italy. Enditem。