The Champions of the Schottish Third Division, East Fife, have criticised police for banning them from drinking champagne to celebrate a title win.Champagne bottles were produced at East Stirlingshire’s Firs Park after East Fife moved to an unassailable 24-point lead in the Scottish Third Division. Directors were warned that having alcohol in glass containers was illegal in football grounds and they were told by the police to remove them. Officers later threatened a director with arrest when bottles reappeared.
East Fife director Dave Marshall told the BBC Scotland news website: “We took champagne with us on the bus, but we didn’t want to pre-empt the outcome, so we left it on the bus. Towards the end of the game, one of the guys took it off the bus and put it in the dressing-room. After the match, another of the guys brought the bottles out and began to celebrate Formula One style. One of the local bobbies took exception to it and said put it away or they would be arrested.”
Ch Insp Audrey McLeod, from Central Scotland Police, said East Fife were warned about the law when an officer spotted the bottles being taken off the bus. It states that glass containers are not permitted inside sporting grounds.
“During the subsequent celebrations the bottles were produced and champagne was sprayed over the fans who were gathered on the pitch,” said Chief Insp McLeod.
“Officers again spoke to club officials, explaining the legislation again and highlighting the potential for glass bottles to present a health and safety issue, particularly with a number of families with children in the vicinity.
This does seem one of those completely over the top rules. Champagne is a normal celebratory drink and used in sports stadiums throughout the world to celebrate major victories, like winning a league title. It doesn’t look like they were causing any health and safety risk at all so I don’t really understand the need for this strict understanding of the law. Can anyone explain it to me?