Matchday booze ban for Wembley off-licences

England fans and police outside the ground after the UEFA Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, July 11, 2021

England fans and police outside the ground after the UEFA Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, July 11, 2021 - Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

Corner shops near Wembley Stadium have been banned from selling alcohol to football fans on match days in a bid to avoid the chaotic scenes that engulfed the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy. 

Brent Council has published a report detailing how it has responded to an investigation by Baroness Casey into the failures at the final, which saw thousands of ticketless fans storm the stadium. 

This included stopping shops near the ground selling booze to those where it is “obvious” they are going to the match and are planning on drinking on the street. They are still allowed to sell alcohol to “regular local customers”. 

In a letter sent to off-licences close to the stadium, the council said it is their responsibility not to sell alcohol to potential street drinkers. It urged shops not to get in more stock before match days. 

It said: “Whilst we understand that alcohol sales on event days may be valuable trade for off-licences, Brent Council must balance these considerations with that of the safety of residents and visitors to the local area.”

The council introduced a stricter public spaces protection order during football matches, carrying fines of up to £1,000. 

This includes a ban on drinking on the street near Wembley, with people encouraged to drink in dedicated areas such as pubs and fan zones. 

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The measures were first put in place for the Carabao Cup Final between Liverpool and Chelsea in February and have since followed during high-profile games.

Similar rules were enforced at the heavyweight world title boxing bout between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, as well as during large music concerts. 

Following the Carabao Cup Final, Brent Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt said the operation had been successful. 

He said: “When we welcome fans, as we have done for decades, we feel like we’re welcoming them into our home so residents really want visitors to treat the local area with respect. 

“It was wonderful to see the vast majority of fans do just that and I would like to thank everyone who followed the rules by not drinking on the street.”

In the latest report, the council said most off-licences had responded “favourably” to the changes and there has been good cooperation between businesses and licensing officers.