KNVB lifts ban on drinking beer in stands of professional football

9 April 2018

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) wants to lift the ban on drinking alcohol in the stands of professional football stadiums. Now that is not permitted. The KNVB recently informed this decision in writing to the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP. That while the KNVB last year completely restrained the use of alcohol along football fields of the amateur competitions.

More drinking in stands of professional football stadiums
More and more stadiums of professional football have recently started to allow alcohol use in the stands. For example, since last month supporters of the professional football club ‘De Graafschap’ have been allowed to drink beer in the stands again. According to the standard stadium conditions of the KNVB it is formally still explicitly prohibited. STAP recently pointed this out to the KNVB.

This signal from STAP now appears to be a reason for the KNVB to completely remove the ban on drinking in the stands from the stadium conditions. The KNVB believes that the stadium management or the board of the football club should be able to decide for themselves. The KNVB also points out that a municipal licence that permits drinking in the stands is required.

STAP: undesirable
Wim van Dalen, director of STAP, thinks the lift of the ban on drinking in the stands is undesirable. "STAP thinks the KNVB would do better to enforce the rules instead of cancel them. The standard conditions were adjusted in 2014 to UEFA's standards, which for years forbid serving of alcohol during matches. It goes better with hooliganism, but you can’t say that it is quiet on the football fields: fans throwing beer and there is still chanting."

Amateur competition
Van Dalen calls on the KNVB to come up with a plan to get the stands of the stadiums of professional football free of alcohol. This will lead to a slower course of matches and lead to fewer irregularities afterwards. Van Dalen: "Last year, the KNVB completely restricted the use of alcohol along the line at amateur matches, with the argument to maintain peace and order among the public. Why not apply that to professional football? State Secretary Paul Blokhuis, responsible for alcohol policy, recently indicated that we should all commit ourselves to a culture of sport without alcohol. We fully agree with that. The KNVB should take now a first step by keeping the ban on beer drinking in the stands. I understand that is difficult for them, because Heineken is one of the sponsors of the KNVB, but maybe it's time to look for another sponsor that better fits to the healthy image of sport."

Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
Ir. W.E. van Dalen, director
+ 31 30-6565041 / + 31 6-53295544


Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
P.O. Box 9769
3506 GT Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30-6565041
F: +31 (0)30-6565043