Date: 1st September 2008 at 11:05am
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Sent by Stand Up Sit Down on behalf the Football Supporters Federation with whom we work closely on the safe standing issue.

Following Newcastle United chairman Mike Ashley’s Ashburton Grove appearance in the Toon end with pint in hand, the Football Supporters’ Federation is looking for any fans ejected and/or prosecuted for drinking in sight of the pitch this past weekend to come forward.

Drinking alcohol is sight of the playing area at professional football matches has been banned by law since 1985. The same activity is perfectly lawful at all other sporting events. If you’re a fan of rugby league or rugby union – no problem. Likewise cricket, American Football, speedway, horse racing. Even tiddlywinks as far as we know. Breweries and distilleries are a major sponsor of football.

We know of many supporters who’ve been banned from attending matches for three years for the ‘crime’ of having a tipple whilst watching the game. Why? There are plenty of laws that the police can use to prosecute people who become abusive or violent though alcohol consumption. Being drunk in a public place is a criminal offence.

Why should the law abiding majority of football fans be singled out? If you’ve been ejected, banned or prosecuted for drinking in sight of the pitch, particularly this past weekend, get in touch with the FSF NOW at: info@fsf.org.uk or on 08702 777777 (Mon-Fri office hours).