Football fans in England could be allowed to drink alcohol in the stands for the first time since 1985 after a fan-led review recommended lifting the long-standing ban.
The ban has been in place for more than 35 years after it was introduced at a time when football hooliganism was rife.
Fans have been allowed to drink at most other sporting events and former sports minister Tracey Crouch believes that the sport's views on alcohol consumption are "outdated".
Eliteserien
WATCH - CRAZY moment goalkeeper dives to get his own defender sent off
3 MINUTES AGO
“Our view on alcohol and football is outdated,” Crouch, who led the review, told The Times.
“It’s not helped when you see scenes like we did at Wembley [for England's Euro 2020 Final against Italy. But that’s why I would pilot it first.
"We kettle people into drinking quickly at half-time. And that is the unhealthy aspect of the football fan’s relationship with alcohol. They drink a lot in a short space of time. So my recommendation is to pilot this and not have to down a pint at half-time.”
The lifting of the ban could be trialled in League Two and the National League Premier before ending the restrictions across all divisions.
Crouch was asked to conduct a review in the spring after the European Super League's launch and subsequent collapse reignited discussion over the governance of the game.
The review is looking at issues including governance, ownership and the financial sustainability of clubs throughout the pyramid.
Crouch, the Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford in Kent, believes that lifting the ban could be key to the financial viability of clubs further down English football's pyramid.
“Take a club like Dulwich Hamlet, which is in National League South,” Crouch explained.
“It’s revenue is generated through its refreshments. If it gets promoted to the National League Premier, it effectively stops generating that revenue during a game [because they would not be allowed to serve alcohol]. They said openly in evidence to us that they cannot afford to get promoted because of the rules around alcohol.
"Lots of clubs generate a lot of their income through their bars and I think it’s time to look at this issue again. We do have this bizarre situation where you can go to Headingley and drink as a cricket fan, but go to Elland Road and you can’t drink as a football fan.”
Football
WATCH - CRAZY moment goalkeeper dives to get his own defender sent off
15 MINUTES AGO
Liga
Atleti bounce back in style with second-half blitz against Cadiz
4 HOURS AGO