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24th Apr 2019

FA to scrap giving champagne to FA Cup winners to respect players’ religious beliefs

Simon Lloyd

The FA have followed a similar move made by the Premier League seven years ago

The Football Association will ditch its tradition of awarding a case of champagne to the winning team at the FA Cup final.

According to the Daily Mail, the governing body have decided to abandon the gesture so as not to offend players whose religious beliefs forbid the consumption of alcohol. It will also avoid any issues with players younger than the legal age for alcohol consumption in the UK.

Instead, they will provide a case of non-alcoholic ‘champagne’ for the winning side.

This follows a similar move from the Premier League, who decided against awarding alcoholic champagne to players for man of the match performances in 2012.

The decision has not been prompted by any complaints from any previous winners, and the Mail’s report claims the FA would have brought it in sooner but didn’t want to be seen as ‘party-poopers’.

The FA have been working hard to tackle multi-race and multi-faith issues in football in recent months and this move is said to show their commitment to that.

“Winning teams will be awarded with non-alcoholic ‘champagne’ for their celebrations in all FA competitions, starting from this year’s Emirates FA Cup Final,” an FA spokesperson said.

“This is to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible to players and communities who may be prohibited from alcohol, as well as any players who are under 18.”

Manchester City take on Watford in this season’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

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