MPs call for review of Scotland’s football booze ban9th September, 2013 by Andy Young
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has called for a review of the ban on the sale of alcohol at football matches in the country.
A booze ban has been in place since 1980 after violent clashes between Celtic and Rangers fans during the Scottish Cup final in Hampden.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “I understand why the ban was brought in all those years ago, but times have changed significantly since then.
“We now have modern stadia with excellent stewarding to keep spectators safer, allowing more families to attend matches.
“This has resulted in the football-watching experience being a far more civilised experience than it was 30 years ago.”
Police Scotland told the BBC that it remained opposed to the relaxation of alcohol restrictions, but the football governing body, the SFA, has said it would welcome the debate.
Football fans in England can buy alcohol on match days in stadia, but are not allowed to drink it in their seats. In Scotland a ban on drinking alcohol at international rugby matches was lifted in 2007 and Davidson highlighted these differences as being unfair on Scotland’s football fans.
She added: “There’s no reason why this should be successfully in place in England but not north of the border.
“It seems unfair that people who can have a drink in a bar, rugby ground or even at a concert in football stadiums are unable to consume alcohol before they sit down to watch a game of football.”
However a Scottish government spokesperson said: “We are committed to ensuring that football fans can enjoy our national sport in a safe, enjoyable environment and have no plans at this time to remove the existing restrictions on alcohol at football.”