The Scottish Premier League has invited clubs to apply for permission to reintroduce standing areas at stadiums after relaxing rules requiring crowds to be seated.

The SPL had required teams to use only seated areas with a minimum 6,000 seats per stadium. It wants to test the new arrangement before introducing it more widely.

Scotland is not subject to the law banning standing at topflight football in England and the SPL says it is reacting to ''widespread support amongst fans to reintroduce safe standing areas.''

The law requiring topflight English stadiums to be all-seated was introduced after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, when a crush at an FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest led to the deaths of 96 Reds fans.