World Cup 2014: Fans issued grave warning over drinking

Alcohol Awareness warning over drinking during World Cup

An alcohol awareness charity has warned of the dangers of making alcohol consumption a "central feature" of the World Cup.

Alcohol Concern says that drink and football have too become too closely linked, and that the sporting event encourages people to drink too much.

While pubs and off licences are already prepared with their football-themed alcohol promotions, hospitals and police will have to prepare for the fallout, it warns.

The consumption of alcohol during previous World Cup tournaments has been associated with significant spikes in the demand for emergency medical treatment and domestic violence. The 2010 World Cup saw a 37.5 per cent rise in assault reports across 15 hospital emergency department on England match days.

And research examining data from the north west of England in the three last World Cups found the risk of domestic violence had risen by 26 per cent when England won or drew, and a 38 per cent increase when it lost.

A briefing note written by the charity on the World Cup said: "Over time, football and alcohol have become closely entwined at all levels, and officially endorsed.

"Alcohol companies have been keen to associate themselves with the sport, and it's now rare to watch football on the television without being exposed to various forms of alcohol marketing.

"It is difficult to reconcile football's potential for creating and promoting healthy and active lifestyles with the volume of alcohol marketing associated with the sport.

"During an England World Cup football match in June 2010, an estimated 1.6 million children aged four to 15 years old viewed alcohol adverts aired in the commercial breaks."

It added: "Does alcohol really need to be a central feature of the football World Cup?"

Tom Smith, policy programme manager at Alcohol Concern, said: "The fact that Fifa has pressurised Brazil to overturn domestic law so that World Cup venues will now sell alcohol shows the power the drinks industry has already had on the Fifa World Cup 2014.

"We want everyone to have a great time enjoying the World Cup, but there are so many forces encouraging people to drink too much.

"Alcohol marketing around the tournament is rampant and Government has effectively overruled local common sense on opening hours.

"Let's make this a tournament to remember and not score an own goal by drinking too much."

Have football and alcohol become too closely linked? Tell us below!

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World Cup 2014: Fans issued grave warning over drinking

You don't go to Iceland or the Maldives expecting a cheap bar bill (not if you've done your research anyway), so there's no point in banging on about how a beer's twice the price it would be in your local pub. Equally, the guy selling you a rug which costs the equivalent of a week's wages for him probably doesn't LOVE hearing about how  'ridiculously cheap' it is.

'I haven't tried it because I don't like it' isn't an acceptable excuse for not trying new food when you're two years old, so it definitely won't wash now you're old enough to fly without a label round your neck. 

Despite evidence to the contrary, there is no defective gene in British people that renders them incapable of using foreign languages. Yes, a lot of people in the world speak English, but plenty don't and there's absolutely no reason why we shouldn't try to converse in their language, in their country, rather than talking English very s l o w l y and LOUDLY.

Sure, it's disappointing when it's overcast on your beach holiday or the snow's slushy on your ski trip but there's not a sausage your tour rep or the locals can do about it, so quit your whining and look on the bright side - you'll save heaps on sunscreen and get really good at Scrabble.

If you've ever uttered the words 'oh, I'm not a tourist, I'm a traveller', you are most likely the kind of extremely annoying person who considers yourself morally and culturally superior because you've never stayed in a hotel listed in a guidebook. No matter how far off grid you go, how many henna tattoos you get and how many famous sights you actively avoid visiting, if you're travelling in a foreign country, you're still a tourist. End of.

You 'do' the washing-up, a crossword or some gardening. You don't 'do' a country, city or sight, you visit it, see it, experience it, enjoy it. No one ever had a horizon expanding  experience by approaching travelling in the same way as they do their weekly supermarket shop.

I was once swimming in a secluded lake in Sweden.  It was a beautiful summer day and the peace and silence were total. Until suddenly, from the other side of the water, someone shouted: 'Oi! Dave! Get us a beer!', in a voice loud enough to carry across Wembley Stadium. I won't say what nationality they were, but there's a clue in there somewhere...

You're not a war reporter or an intrepid white hunter, you're just checking out the sights of central Rome, so you do not need a lightweight, multi pocket Traveller waistcoat. By the same token, nothing will mark you out as a tourist faster than a fanny pack. You may as well wear a big flashing sign saying 'Yes, I'm carrying all my valuables in this ridiculous bum bag. Please rob me.' Just wear normal clothes, like a normal person.

Its never been easier to access all the information you could possibly ever need, instantly. So if you're still referring to the Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia when you're in Prague, or asking whether they take Euros in a Copenhagen boutique, its time to get busy with Wikipedia before you step off that plane.

You may be on holiday, but all these local people are not merely extras in the movie entitled 'My Holiday.' They have jobs to go to, lives to live and quite possibly they have better things to do for fifteen minutes than getting to grips with your smartphone's camera app while you block the street and pull moronic poses to post on your Facebook page. 


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