Chants encounter

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It may seem a long way from the televised splendour of the World Cup in Brazil to the question of whether alcohol should be available in Scottish football grounds (your report, 20 June).

Alcohol is available in the 12 stadia used for the international soccer festival. That is because Fifa put pressure on the Brazilian government to allow sales, despite a law prohibiting them after deaths in various stadia over the years.

Fifa did so to appease Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor. The so-called “Budweiser Bill” is the reason so many fans who have travelled across the globe can enjoy drink in the venues from Brasilia to Belo Horizonte (so far without major mishap).

It begs the question of what lies behind the clamour for drink sales to be reintroduced in stadia here. An attempt to encourage more sponsors might be one of them.

Another might be an attempt to increase attendances in times of financial difficulty for many clubs. I think though that we still have some way to go before a lift on the ban is agreed.

A change of atmosphere in many grounds is what is needed if more families are to be encouraged to come to games.

Racist chanting has in the main been outlawed; but there is still work to be done on discouraging language offensive to many women, homophobic abuse, security for match officials and players, even ensuring that all fans are in parts of grounds which actually have seats. Football, alcohol and parts of the Scottish psyche can sometimes provide an unpleasant mix. We should take our time before the current ban is lifted.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes

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