World of Sport

Championship club challenges booze ban

Ipswich Town are trying to overturn a ban that prevents fans drinking alcohol while watching football matches.

A law was put in place in 1985 which meant that supporters could not have a view of the pitch while drinking to try and discourage drunken behaviour at matches.

Fans can purchase alcohol but are not allowed to take their beverages with them to their seats.

Ipswich believe that football fans have been 'unfairly targeted' when it comes to the booze ban as the majority of other sports – such as cricket and rugby – allow supporters to take alcohol to their seats.

The club's chief executive Simon Clegg has written to the FA urging a rethink over the ban.

"(Football fans) continue to be treated differently to other supporter groups in British society," Clegg wrote in the letter which was seen by the Daily Telegraph.

"We feel that the time is right to review the current restrictions on alcohol in football stadia and consider whether such decisions could now not be delegated down to the local safety advisory group.

"The restrictions within the 1985 Act are not applied to any other games or events, including both rugby codes, cricket, the recent Olympic Games in London and music events, even when they are performed in stadia which are predominantly used for football.

"Based on this evidence we see football as being unfairly targeted and forced to remain in a position of subjugation that is no longer warranted."

Clegg also cited a passage from Lord Taylor's report into safety at football grounds which was published in the wake of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Taylor wrote in his report: "I hope, in halcyon days ahead, a better atmosphere at football may justify bans being relaxed.”

Clegg concluded his letter by saying: "We see the present climate as the perfect opportunity to relax these very restrictions, and allow our supporters to watch their team play whilst enjoying an alcoholic beverage ... I believe the football authorities should take a serious look at this."