This week UEFA announced changes to its rules on alcohol – allowing its sale at Champions League and Europa League games this season.
Football Supporters Europe (FSE), which had been lobbying UEFA for a relaxation of its alcohol restrictions, welcomed the changed.
Local laws, such as not drinking in sight of the pitch at matches in England and Wales, will still apply.
FSE chief exec Ronan Evain said: “Supporters felt that the alcohol banning policy was paternalistic, as there is absolutely no evidence or research to suggest that banning alcohol in a stadium has any bearing whatsoever on preventing or curtailing football-related disorder in and around it.
“Furthermore, the alcohol ban did not apply to VIP areas at football matches, causing a two-class society even within the stadia.”
FSE argued that the alcohol ban was unnecessary, pointing to research at Liverpool & Milan Universities showing the restrictions did not reduce disorder among supporters.
The decision also shows the potential for UEFA to adopt a country-by-country approach to policy – and could allow for other major changes, such as the introduction of standing areas at UEFA matches.
Thanks to Hubert Figuière for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.