Booze ban at Suzuki Cup: Why restrict what we drink?

Booze ban at Suzuki Cup: Why restrict what we drink?

Mr Albert Teo was at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup's Singapore v Thailand match two nights ago when he realised that no one was holding a plastic cup of beer.

The 55-year-old businessman said: "It's common for football fans to drink while watching the game, so I was a little puzzled." He later realised that the sale of alcohol has been prohibited at all AFF Suzuki Cup matches in the National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Spectators are also not allowed to bring their own alcoholic drinks as beverages bought from elsewhere are not permitted in the stadium. Mr Todd Smoots, the general manager of Sports Hub Catering, told The New Paper yesterday: "We work closely with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to evaluate potential levels of risk before any event at the National Stadium.

"With regard to the AFF Suzuki Cup tournament, SPF recommended to prohibit the sale of alcohol at the concession stands for reasons of public safety."

SAFETY REASONS

The sale of alcohol was previously allowed in other matches in the National Stadium, such as Singapore Selection v Juventus on Aug 16. For safety reasons, beer is allowed to be sold only in plastic cups in the stadium.

Football fans contacted by TNP felt that the ban was unnecessary. Mr Teo, who has been to several matches in the National Stadium when the sale of alcohol was allowed, said he had never noticed any rowdy behaviour caused by drunk spectators.

He said: "I don't understand the rationale behind this ban. We are not children. There is no point restricting what we drink." Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Magdelene Jude Tan, 20, who was at the Singapore Selection-Juventus game, said she understood that it might be possible for tipsy spectators to start fights during big matches.

But she added: "Only beer is sold at the stadium and not hard liquor, so it's not that easy to get intoxicated and cause trouble."

Responding to queries from TNP, a police spokesman said: "Every temporary liquor licence application is assessed based on its own merits and on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration public safety concerns."


This article was first published on November 25, 2014.
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