Daily Archives: 14/06/2014

Alcohol and Football

It seems appropriate to talk about booze and football today seeing as England have their first match in the FIFA World Cup 2014 today.

From Alcohol Concern:

Alcohol Concern have release a briefing today about the increasingly entwined relationship between alcohol and football.  It highlights that while pubs and off-licenses are already prepared with their football-themed alcohol promotions, the police and A&E departments will also have to prepare for the World Cup.

Research is growing around how the consumption of alcohol during previous World Cup tournaments has been associated with significant spikes in demand for emergency medical treatment and domestic violence.  This is while the drinks industry continues to work hard to align itself with the healthy image of sport in England.  As an aside: official alcohol sponsorship or partnership deals were held with 17 of the 20 Premier League clubs in the 2013/14 season, with high levels of exposure to alcohol adverts despite widespread viewing amongst children.

The briefing highlights the rise in demand on emergency services over previous World Cup tournaments.

  • In 2010, the FIFA World Cup 2010 tournament was associated with a 37.5% rise in assault attendances across 15 hospital emergency departments on England match days.
  • It’s also been reported that incidents of domestic violence increased by up to 30% on the days of England’s fixtures during the World Cup in 2006.
  • Research examining data from a police force in the north west of England across the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups found the risk of domestic violence rose by 26% when the English national team won or drew, and a 38% increase when the national team lost.

Tom Smith, Policy Programme Manager at Alcohol Concern, said: “Alcohol and football is becoming increasingly entwined. The fact that FIFA has pressurised Brazil to overturn domestic law so that World Cup venues will now sell alcohol shows the power the drinks industry has already had on the FIFA World Cup 2014.   Again to complete the picture : FIFA has a long-term, multi-million pound contracts with AB InBev for Budweiser to be the official beer of the World Cup. It states similar pressures are already being placed on authorities for the Russian World Cup in 2018 and Qatar World Cup in 2022 who also have bans on alcohol sales in and around stadiums.

“We want everyone to have a great time enjoying the World Cup, but there are so many forces encouraging people to drink too much.

“Alcohol marketing around the tournament is rampant and Government has effectively over-ruled local commonsense on opening hours.  As earlier this year the Coalition Government announced its decision to relax licensing hours nationally during the World Cup owing to late UK kick off times. The decision followed controversy after the Home Office had previously appeared to have ruled out the option and leave it with local authorities, but the Prime Minister ordered a “re-think” soon after.

“Let’s make this a tournament to remember and not score an own goal by drinking too much.” the briefing concludes with.

Booze and football are hand in glove in this country.  I’m sure we’re not the only country and this the only sport where this is the case?  Rugby is no different and I am guessing that baseball and American Football are the same.  What other spectator sports where booze is not only normal but encouraged have I missed?

99 red balloons – sorry days to go! 😀

17/06/14 Edited to add: it was reported that for the opening England game 1 million fans filled 32,000 late opening pubs for the 11pm kick-off and drank 17.5 million pints.  So that’s 17.5 pints each per fan.  And Alcohol Concern asked that people didn’t drink too much!!