Justice minister says football alcohol ban should stay
Justice minister says violence at Scottish Cup Final shows need for ban on alcohol to stay in place
Scotland‘s Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has said that disorder at last week’s Scottish Cup final showed the need to retain the alcohol ban at football grounds.
Violence broke out after Hibernian's 3-2 victory over Rangers, with fans invading the pitch.
Matheson said the scenes showed why there should be no scrapping of the ban on alcohol in Scottish football grounds.
The restrictions were introduced after violence at the 1980 Scottish Cup final and have been in place ever since.
Scottish Labour under the leadership of Jim Murphy in the run-up to the 2015 General Election had called for the ban to be relaxed.
Opponents of the ban pointed out that rugby fans are allowed to buy alcohol on match days at Murrayfield.
Football fans in England are also allowed to buy and drink alcohol in bars in football grounds before matches kick off and at half-time.
However, Matheson said the events at last week’s cup final showed the Scottish Government had been right to resist calls to relax the ban.
He said: "I think if anybody thought that reintroducing alcohol into Scottish football was a good idea, events of Saturday, I believe, just underline that it was not and I'm pleased that we stood our ground on that particular issue and opposed those parties in the Scottish Parliament who sought to try to change the legislation to allow alcohol to be reintroduced to grounds."
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