Freedom for the Südkurve

Alex Livesey

After a little over a month of protest and boycott, the Board of FC Bayern has decided to allow non-South Stand ticket holders to once again join in the standing section.

If you, like most, recall how amazing FC Bayern's support was in Prague a week ago compared to Chelsea's (who were never able to muster a chant that could be heard on TV), then you are also probably wishing the same atmosphere was present for actual home matches at the Allianz Arena.

Beginning with the Uli Hoeneß Cup and Audi Cup, and continuing through the first home matches of the season, Bayern's typically noisy and spirited groups that make up the Südkurve were missing, a fact made painfully visible by the ticket holders boycotting the matches so that there were empty spots whenever the cameras panned towards where the flags and singing should be.

With the supporters who typically lead the chants and songs missing, fans at the first home match of the season actually sang along with a Gladbach chant on accident, resulting in an embarrassing situation for the board because the visiting fans were taunting Uli Hoeneß about his recent legal problems. When the home fans joined in, they did manage to change the words around to support Bayern, but that was the only chant that got going during the course of the match.

That scenario will likely never occur again, as the raucous support that has only been present at away matches will return to the Allianz Arena for the Hannover 96 game in just over a week's time.

The original cause of the boycott, among other things, was the proposed installation of turnstiles and stewards at the top of sections 112 and 113 that would prevent supporters who are not ticketed in those sections from entering.

As per a Bayern Magazine article penned by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the freedom to choose to sit (or stand, as is the case) in sections 112 and 113 will be allowed on a trial basis by way of a certain number of "Südkurve passes" being issued to fans who wish to enter the sections but have tickets for somewhere else.

Though this is not a final victory for those in the Südkurve, it is a welcome sign of compromise and is certainly a step in the right direction towards an era of increased communication between the Board and the various supporters groups involved.

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