German pro football governing body, the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL), mulls an alcohol ban as they re-open stadiums for sports spectators.

The 1st and 2nd Bundesliga are set to begin on September 1, 2020. Spectators will be back in stadiums when the leagues start for the 2020/2021 season. The Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL, translated as German football league) announced that a meeting has been called for August 4 inviting the 36 first and second league teams to coordinate on whether there should be a uniform approach of all clubs with regard to certain aspects related to COVID-19 safety, hygiene, and physical distancing measures.

Four proposals by the DFL are up for voting at the upcoming meeting. An alcohol ban in professional football arenas in Germany is among these proposals. The concrete proposal is to temporarily ban serving alcohol in all stadiums until October 31, 2020.

Currently, as per the DFL guidelines sale and public distribution of alcohol is allowed with the express consent of the locally competent authorities. Further, any league-wide, uniform
agreements on the serving of alcohol have to be adopted by the clubs at a Members Assembly/ league assembly. Therefore, the alcohol ban must be accepted by a simple majority at the meeting on August 4 to be implemented.

The other three proposals include no guest fans, meaning fans of away teams will not be allocated the usual 10% tickets, no standing room and collection of data of all spectators to ensure tracking of any chains of infection that could occur.

Considering alcohol’s pervasive harm in Germany in general, and during the continuing public health crisis, creating more alcohol-free environments is an important aspect of promoting health and defeating the coronavirus.

  1. Alcohol is a serious risk factor for interpersonal violence. with violent behaviour this ban would be a good call.
  2. Alcohol is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, which in turn increase risk of COVID-19 infection.
  3. Alcohol weakens the immune system, making people more susceptible to the coronavirus and its complications.
  4. In recent weeks, alcohol consumption venues have been shown to contribute significantly to the spread of the coronavirus, as people ignore physical distancing rules and hygiene requirements.

Sources

Kicker: “DFL suggestions: no guest fans, no standing room, no alcohol

DFL: “Possible return of spectators to stadiums: DFL sends clubs a guideline for creating concepts for their individual locations