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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
SPL calls for booze ban 'rethink'
Murrayfield
The alcohol ban at Murrayfield has been relaxed
The Scottish Premier League is seeking a meeting with ministers to discuss a plan for lifting the ban on alcohol sales in Scottish football grounds.

SPL secretary Ian Blair said he would raise the issue with the Scottish Executive at the earliest opportunity.

The call comes after the ban was reviewed as part of a trial for certain rugby internationals at Murrayfield.

Mr Blair said he was eager to see a similar pilot up and running before the end of the coming football season.

A ban on the sale of alcohol in sports grounds was introduced after violent clashes during the 1980 Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

We will be seeking some sort of trial to begin as soon as possible
Ian Blair
SPL secretary
But Mr Blair insisted things had changed since then.

He said: "Essentially, the message that we are trying to get across is that we have come a long way since the ban was first introduced.

"Given the changes that we have seen, we think it reasonable to see a pilot put in place.

"We will be seeking some sort of trial to begin as soon as possible. I would ideally like to see that happening before the end of the upcoming season."

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has said that he is not opposed to the idea in principle, previously stating:

"I have made clear that I will consider any representations made by football clubs as long as they have discussed the issue with the police and licensing boards and have their support."

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith said he was also in favour of challenging the current ban.

But Mr Smith has warned that it was important to assess whether the issues which led to the drinking ban still existed.


SEE ALSO
SPL aims to reintroduce alcohol
18 Jun 07 |  Scot Prem
Murrayfield alcohol ban removed
08 Jun 07 |  Edinburgh and East
Rugby stadium tries drinks test
29 Apr 04 |  Scotland
Major shake-up for drinking laws
19 Aug 03 |  Scotland
Drinking reforms - key points
19 Aug 03 |  Scotland
Call to scrap rugby alcohol ban
18 Jun 03 |  Scotland

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