Alcohol – what are the rules?

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 prevents:-

  • drunken entry into a football ground (which, in practice, to be an arrestable offence includes disorderly behaviour);
  • the consumption of alcohol within view of the playing area including, during the restricted period (15 minutes before the start of the event to 15 minutes after the end of the event), rooms within the ground from which the event may be directly viewed;
  • the consumption of alcohol on certain coaches, trains and motor vehicles travelling to a designated football match;
  • the possession of fireworks or flares.

The Act applies to the following sporting events:-

  • Association football matches in which one or both of the participating teams represents a club which is for the time being a member (whether a full or associate member) of the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Conference National Division, the Scottish Football League or Welsh Premier League, or represents a country or territory.
  • Association football matches in competition the Football association Cup (other than in the preliminary or qualifying round).

The Act only applies in England and Wales.

The Act does not apply at grounds where a match is being watched on a screen as part of a ‘beam back’.

To view the full test of the Statutory Instrument which designates the classes of sports grounds and sporting events to which the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 applies click here.

Check the regulations

Which parts of a ground should be covered by a Safety Certificate?

The terms and conditions of the safety certificate should cover all areas to which the spectators have access, including restaurants, licensed bars, and concourses.

About Designated Grounds

Details about what a designated ground is.

What is a Safety Certificate?

Details about what a safety certificate is.

Legislation related to Policing

Information from legislation relating to policing in sports grounds.

Tools and resources

Which Events At A Sports Ground Should Be Covered By The Provisions Of A Safety Certificate?

Details of the events at a sports ground covered by provisions of a safety certificate.

Preventing Crowd Disorder and Anti-Social Behaviour

Guidance on preventing crowd disorder and anti-social behaviour at sports grounds.


Statement of Intent

Details in relation to the Statement of Intent