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Fans go head-to-head on lifting the football booze ban: Where do you stand on the issue?

We still don’t when supporters will be allowed back inside football grounds amid the coronavirus pandemic but proposals to see the return of fans are certainly gathering pace. And one move being considered is lifting football’s 35-year booze ban. 

Allowing fans to consume alcoholic drinks in their seats is one of the measures being looked at in a bid to avoid congestion on concourses when grounds start to fill up again.

Supporters have been forbidden from drinking within sight of the pitch since 1985, a move brought in when hooliganism was rife… but there is talk it could be introduced once again as the relevant authorities look to bring back the paying public.

But not everyone will be on the same page. Here, Tottenham supporters Alex Neil and Seb Jenkins from www.spurs-web.com give to very different views on whether it’s time to get the pints in.

I have been attending football matches for the vast majority of my life and the state of the atmosphere has never been worse than it is today. Introducing the option to drink in your seat whilst watching the match can only add a bit of life to the soulless stadia, something that is desperately needed. 

In the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with more than 60,000 people, I want to see everyone having a good time and filling the ground with noise. Not only that, but the extra revenue for clubs around the country, especially those in the lower leagues, could make a huge difference post-lockdown.

When I head off to a match, whether it be the weekend or after work for a midweek fixture, I don’t always have time to pop into a pub and have a pint with my mates before kick-off. 

It would be nice to be able to turn up 20 minutes before the match starts, queue up for a couple of pints, and head to my seat to enjoy the game. You see a load of American sports on TV, or you watch British rugby and everyone looks as if they are having a great time with the beer flowing. You can even get a drink at the cinema these days, so why not a football stadium?

I understand the argument that alcohol can lead to poor behaviour, but I’m not sure this is enough of an argument to ban fans from drinking at their seats. After all, by that logic, you should just ban alcohol altogether. Each individual supporter should be held responsible for their own decisions and their own actions. 

At the end of the day, a troublemaker is a troublemaker, alcohol or not. At the very least, trial it for a season and see what happens.

  

In my opinion, the absolute last thing the game needs at the moment is extra alcohol flowing throughout the match. Even as things are, fans have not covered themselves in glory this season. With the current state of racism, sexism, and homophobia in the modern game, adding extra pints to the mix can only be a recipe for disaster in terms of fan behaviour. 

Until fans can behave sober, I think limiting them to a few pints in the pub or stadium before a match is more than enough. I would question why supporters need to get drunk in order to enjoy the game anyway. 

The whole point is that you turn up to support your team, socialise with your friends and fellow fans, and make memories with the club. What’s the point if you can’t even remember them the next day?

Should football lift the booze ban at matches?

Should football lift the booze ban at matches?

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As a Spurs fan, I can only imagine how the Eric Dier incident could have escalated out of control earlier in the season had some of the fans been heavily under the influence of alcohol when he entered the stands. It only takes a poor drunken decision from one supporter to tarnish the rest of the fanbase who are there simply to enjoy the game and encourage the team.

Not only this, but the clubs have a responsibility to the wider community and population when it comes to holding events at stadia across the country. While hosting 60,000-plus people at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and raking in a load of money from alcohol sales is all well and good, what happens when the fans leave the stadium? 

What about the increased risk of drink driving? What about the increased potential for scraps between fans? What about behaviour on public transport? What about the noise after a late midweek finish? The argument extends way beyond football.

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