Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Police ban celebrating

A football club has criticized police for banning them from drinking champagne to celebrate a title win. The 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. 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. They took it into the dressing-room."

According to directors, when players brought the bottles back out onto the stands, officers threatened to confiscate them - but the contents had all been consumed or sprayed, so they were binned.

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.

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