News 26 June 2024

New alcohol update for next England game after lack of beer causes delays

26 June 2024

England fans attending the round-of-16 match in Gelsenkirchen will not face restrictions on beer, addressing issues from their previous game against Serbia.

During the June 16th encounter, many of the 50,000 England supporters experienced significant travel difficulties to and from the Arena AufSchalke due to a lack of trains and trams, leaving some stranded for hours. Fan groups also blamed the limited availability of low-alcohol beer for delays, as fans chose to drink in nearby towns before the match.

UEFA has confirmed that normal-strength beer will be available for Sunday’s last-16 game against an undecided opponent, likely Holland. Unlike the Serbia match, this game is not classified as a “high-risk” fixture.

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) had criticised the initial alcohol restrictions, noting the minimal arrests at recent overseas tournaments.

They said in a statement, “It’s frustrating that ticket-holding England fans have faced stadium alcohol restrictions when others haven’t. While we encourage fans to arrive early at the stadium, inconsistent restrictions between the stadium and fan zones are unhelpful.

“Seeing fans stranded three hours after the game due to transport problems is ridiculous.”

On match day, the FSA and FA intervened to arrange emergency shuttle buses, but many fans still had to walk over four miles from the fan zone to the stadium. The FSA reported similar issues with transport capacity, queue management, and delays.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s 6pm local time kick-off, the FSA stressed the need for an urgent review and improved arrangements, considering the possibility of extra time and penalties leading to another late departure.

Both UEFA and Gelsenkirchen authorities have been asked about additional measures beyond lifting the beer restrictions.

[Image created via MidJourney]