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Alcohol at football grounds

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985 prevents the drinking of alcohol in view of the pitch at football matches.

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’.

The Sports Grounds and Sporting Events (Designation) Order 2005 designates the classes of sports grounds and sporting events to which the Act applies.

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