Football fans could be allowed to drink during matches as law banning alcohol in the stands could be removed

FOOTIE fans could once again be allowed to drink during games for the first time in 36 years.

The law banning alcohol in the stands could be removed as part of a broad review of the sport.

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A sight-drinking ban on the pitch was introduced in 1985 to stem hooliganismCredit: Le Soleil

Among the recommendations is a testing program for fans to drink alcohol during matches at Ligue 2 and National League clubs.

Ministers welcomed the move, part of a fan-led review led by ex-sports minister Tracey Crouch.

She said that a “small-scale, limited pilot” on the sale of alcohol “with a view to the pitch” would help struggling clubs earn extra money.

Ms Crouch added yesterday: “This is about the financial viability of the lower parts of the league – such a small change would make a huge difference.”

Research suggests that an average League Two club loses around £ 184,000 per season by not being able to sell alcohol to fans who watch the games.

A sight-drinking ban on the pitch was introduced in 1985 to curb hooliganism.

Currently, only non-league teams are allowed to sell alcohol to fans to take the pitch.

The Football Supporters’ Association and the English Football League both support an update of the existing laws.

MP Paul Bristow said: “Alcohol is sold in rugby and cricket without incident.

“Football has changed, it’s not the 80s anymore.

Among the recommendations is a testing program allowing fans to drink alcohol during matches at Ligue 2 and National League clubs.

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Among the recommendations is a testing program allowing fans to drink alcohol during matches at Ligue 2 and National League clubs.Credit: Le Soleil

“Selling alcohol could be a boost that many of our lower leagues need to survive.”

But Cheshire Police Chief Mark Roberts said: “There is a clear link between alcohol and bad behavior, not only in football but in society in general.

“Increasingly, we are seeing concerns in rugby and cricket about the negative impact on fan experiences.

“This is being offered at a time when we are seeing many disturbing cases of violence in football at all levels, so the timing is bizarre.”

A government source said: “There is a strong case. But it is a thorny question.

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