England fans are set to be disappointed at the World Cup 2018 in Russia with an alcohol ban being implemented in Moscow. With the horrid memories of Euro 2016, where the English and Russian supporters clashed suspected under the influence of alcohol, that left many people injured, businesses damaged and put the reputation of the game at stake, the Moscow authorities have acted quickly to slap an alcohol ban that prohibits the sale of alcohol in bars, pubs, restaurants, supermarkets and even off-licences before and on the day of matches.
“Executive power bodies have set the borders where the sale and consumption will be banned on the eve and day of a match,” announced Kirill Malyshkin, Moscow City Hall’s deputy head of regional security at a Russia-Peru cultural event in Lima.
While English fans are not the only ones who are going to have a hard time getting a drink as altogether 12 matches are to be played at Moscow and will be affected by the restriction, including Russia’s tournament opener against Saudi Arabia on 14th June. According to the world cup schedule, England will play their last-16 match at Moscow if they finish as runners-up of Group G, which also includes European powerhouses Belgium.
Despite the ban, alcohol will be provided inside the stadia and official FIFA fan zones. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko had announced that fans would be allowed to grab a beer at official World Cup events. The official FIFA fan zones are places where the people without tickets to the games to watch the match live on big screens.
In addition to that, there will be special medical staff inside the stadia to help drunk fans, as confirmed by Malyshkin.
This reduces the severity of the alcohol ban to some extent, which stood in stark contrast of the allowance of marijuana, cocaine and even heroin to stadia as long as the fans have their supporting medical documents, in accordance with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union regulations.
The alcohol at the stadiums is expected to be cheap, with a 500ml bottle of ale reported to cost around 72p while a pint can be purchased for 87p. However, there will be restrictions in the amount of alcohol that can be bought. The official beers of the tournament are understood to be Budweiser and Russian brew Klinskoye.