Beginning this season, supporters can now purchase alcohol at football games in Norway. The Norwegian Football Association (NFF) has lifted its total ban on alcohol sale, by a unanimous decision within the NFF's board of directors.
In practice, clubs have previously been allowed to serve beer and wine in the VIP section. Some clubs have also bypassed the rules by selling alcohol in places associated with the arenas. However, now it can take place in the club’s arenas if they receive a liquor licence from the municipality. The reason for the change according to the NFF a desire to treat everyone equally, and not just let the VIPs get a drink during a match.
There are several frameworks and rules set by local authorities, thus how the sale will vary, depending on both the municipalities and the clubs. But alcohol in the stands will still be completely banned.
Håvard Øvregård, a senior adviser in the Norwegian Sports Confederation is clear that they do not want alcohol serving in connection with sports.
“Serving in connection with competitive activity increases the risk that there are people who are drunk in the stands and it increases the risk of children and adolescents meeting alcohol in a sports context.”
Over 73 % of NFF`s members are children and youth and they have put the financial interests of the clubs ahead of vulnerable children and young people that should expect to meet an alcohol-free sports environment that is safe and family-friendly. In Sweden, they have felt obliged to take preventive measures after opening for alcohol sale at football games. Fortunately, it is up to the municipalities to decide whether the local football clubs will receive liquor licences or not.