EFL Asks For 35-Year Ban On Alcohol Being Consumed In Stands To Be Lifted
The EFL (English Football League) has asked for a ban on fans not being permitted to drink alcohol in the stands to be lifted.
For 35 years now, supporters have had to consume alcohol in the concourse following the implementing of the Sporting Events Act back in 1985.
At the time it was introduced as a way of preventing hooliganism and anti-social behaviour in stadiums.
However, fast forward to 2020 and The Telegraph say the EFL believe the ban should be suspended when a portion of fans are able to return.
It's said the EFL have informed their 72 clubs that they have "requested that the Government suspends this element of the act in order to give clubs greater operational flexibility at the current time, as well as providing an opportunity to increase match-day revenue".
Clubs who are in areas under tier two coronavirus restrictions will be able to have 2,000 fans present for games and the feeling is that removing the ban will help with social distancing.
This approach, which would see supporters remain their seats and have drinks brought to them, is believed to be much safer than having fans congregate in queues in the concourse.
There have been calls for this change to be made for a while now. In October 2018, a slew of EFL clubs called for the law to be changed.
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At the time, Football Supporters Federation caseworker Amanda Jacks stated that 'nobody thought them through properly' when the rules was introduced in 1985.
She said: "When the laws were drafted they were a knee-jerk reaction to problems at the time. Nobody thought them through properly and certainly didn't foresee that in 2018 we would be talking about football fans being singled out from the rest of society."
For the first time since March, fans will be allowed in grounds once the lockdown ends on December.
34 EFL clubs and 10 from the Premier League are placed in the second tier and can therefore have some socially distanced fans present.
Hospitality facilities in the stadiums can be open on matchday as long as the rules are followed and contrary to previous reports, temperature checks and face coverings being worn in seats will not be mandatory.
Instead it will depend on clubs and their local Safety Advisory Group reaching a verdict.
The EFL said: "Supporters must wear face coverings when entering and exiting the stadium and in all communal areas of the ground ie. indoor toilet, internal concourse areas etc.
"It is also recommended that face covers are worn at all times inside the stadium bowl but this will not be mandatory - unless required by your SAG".
Fans will be required to provide up to date contact details for "Track and trace" so that they can be alerted if they come into contact with anyone who has contracted COVID-19.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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