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French minister condemns bid to expand stadium alcohol sales

France’s Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn (pictured) has slammed suggestions alcohol sales restrictions should be relaxed in sports arenas.

In France, alcohol is not present in football stadiums, but is available in VIP stands.

Many fans have lobbied for allowing alcohol to be sold at stadia across the country, complaining about the hypocrisy of selling it in VIP areas, but nowhere else.

Buzyn responded on Wednesday stating that the answer was not to expand the sale of alcohol, but to instead stop distributing it in hospitality areas as well.

She told BFM TV: “The question is perhaps rather to remove alcohol in the VIP boxes, certainly not to expand.

“I say no to the easing of the Evin law, because I think that sport is an ideal time to promote health, to make young people want to have good habits, and so that’s not the time when you want to see acute alcoholism or even violence.”

The 1991 Evin law prohibits the sale, distribution and introduction of alcoholic beverages in sports and physical activity establishments.

In July, a bill was put forward in favour of relaxing the Evin law to temporarily permit alcohol sales by clubs during sporting events in the stands.

The Minister of Health tweeted earlier this month: “Alcohol kills 41,000 people every year in our country. Each of these deaths is preventable. Do not let new incentives for alcohol consumption be complicit in this record. Fervor does not need alcohol to express itself in our stadiums.”

Image: Amélie Tsaag Valren