I was just browsing on Stubhub because I was curious what tickets for a Manchester United game go for when this popped up:

StubHub Screenshot

It seems to indicate that if you're a supporter (I assume possibly an away supporter), you shouldn't be wearing team colors. That seems a bit ridiculous to me, not only as an American sports fan, but as someone who has watched any sporting event ever.

Is this really the case? What are they trying to accomplish? Don't they already separate the supporters within the stadium with security and/or walls?

  • Which area of the ground is this ticket for?
    – Philip Kendall
    May 1, 2015 at 18:10
  • This wasn't for any particular ticket, just a message that popped up for all purchases. May 1, 2015 at 18:14

2 Answers 2


It depends on the country you're in, but in most (European) countries they will not allow you to enter the home stands while you are wearing a shirt/scarf/hat (well, really anything affiliated with the opposing team.

To go on from your given example, Manchester United, we get into English territory. If you are a bit into football you'll know that the English supporters' scene had a bit of rough time in history. But discussing that would lead us too far. To keep things short, away and home fans are kept as much apart as necessary and as much as they can. For English football that means completely separate stands.

Is this really the case?

As far as my limited experience in English grounds goes, their security measures are rather tight and maybe a bit too much anno 2015. But from the looks of it you're going rather as a neutral fan or a Manchester United fan to such game. If you're buying tickets through a website like that one, tickets will be in the home sections of the stadium and you will have no problem entering the stadium with some Manchester United fan gear. So it has a double answer: "Yes" as an away supporter, "No" as a home supporter.

What are they trying to accomplish?

Well, just to keep fans separated. What the site is trying to accomplish is just not be in any danger to complaints from the club selling tickets to other teams' supporters. They are just covering their asses with a little message.

Don't they already separate the supporters within the stadium with security and/or walls?

Yes, but no system is without error.

Other countries

An exception on not allowing obvious away supporters in home stand is Germany, apart from the stand with the hardcore fans you will most likely be able to enter with for instance wearing a shirt from the away team in the home stand.

Major Tournaments

For major tournaments (World Cup, European Championship, Champions League Final etc) only a small part is sold directly to the two teams supporters group directly, the rest is sold in a general sale as neutral tickets, this is were mixed supporter situations are created. Most tickets will be bought up by local fans and off course supporters of the two playing teams.

  • You should look up some info about hooliganism in football, especially Europe and South America, you could be in for a surprise. The current measures came after some serious misconduct and a few tragic disasters like Hillsborough and Heizel. Completely changed British football, for good and for worse.
    – Don_Biglia
    May 2, 2015 at 11:58
  • I knew that it was an issue in the past and still is in some parts of Europe, but I thought it had somewhat gone away in the EPL. May 4, 2015 at 15:57
  • Ah, while few things happen inside the stadiums, there will be enough going on outside the stadium if both "groups want it". But little of it will be in the media.
    – Don_Biglia
    May 4, 2015 at 16:20
  • That's not true in all cases, I often was in Bundesliga stadiums (Germany) and was not allowed to enter the home stand with fan gear of the away team. In some cases they gave me a ticket for the away stand, in some others they gave me a neutral shirt and kept my jersey safte till after the game. There are even matchen you should never try to enter the home stand with an away jersey (Dortmund-Schalke, Stuttgart-Karlsruhe, most games in eastern Germany, ...). So I think you should correct this.
    – Phab
    May 29, 2015 at 6:25
  • Hence the "most likely" in the sentence. There are always exceptions. But I swear I've seen some blue shirts in the stands between all the yellow in this season's Dortmund-Schalke.
    – Don_Biglia
    May 29, 2015 at 7:22

To add on to ThomasDB's excellent answer; this is a common and a relatively minor measure of violence prevention in football arenas.

Some more extreme examples are:

  • denial of "presumably" away fans by FC Copenhagen (among many other clubs) at Champions League, regardless of clothing. One such example was the game against Galatasaray SK a couple of years ago, which sparked some heated debate on racial profiling and discrimination (quite a few home fans were denied entry to the arena, despite being danish citizens and having valid tickets).

  • Turkish Football Federation, together with municipality of Istanbul has decided to ban all away fans from the derby games, for security purposes. In other words, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas play their home games to their fans alone (I believe there are similar measures in Greece and Serbia as well, but can't swear on it).

  • In Holland Feyenoord and Ajax play their games between them without away fans. A few years back they even had to play the cup final in two legs because of it. And in Belgium some clubs will deny the purchase of tickets for big games to people who have not previously bought any tickets.
    – Don_Biglia
    May 4, 2015 at 16:23

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