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Fiorentina stadium to go barrier-free

Fiorentina are to introduce a barrier-free Stadio Artemio Franchi next season after the prefecture governing the district passed legislation authorising the removal of glass screens between the crowd and the pitch.

Turin's Juventus Stadium, which opened in 2011, is currently the only sports venue in Italy without tall fencing separating the fans from the pitch, and the Artemio Franchi will become the first publicly-owned arena to follow suit.

"This is a pilot project that we are proud of," Luigi Varratta, the prefect of Florence, said. "Florence can now be a model for other sports venues.

"We have reached this result thanks to the good work carried out by everybody and the efforts undertaken by Fiorentina in terms of security. Our aim is to ensure that football matches are real spectacles, to be seen in total liberty."

The reinforced glass barriers which previously separated the fans from the field of play have been removed and will be replaced with low fences. More security cameras will be installed and extra stewards trained.

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