Football sponsors fuel "alcohol abuse" in children

The public presentation and consumption of champagne at the end of top football matches is fuelling alcohol abuse among young children, the United Kingdom's biggest teaching union has warned. An advertisement placed by the 260,000-strong National Union of Teachers claimed such exposure to alcohol glamorised drinking and risked "damaging young people's lives" and argued that the "association between alcohol and sport must end" with a ban on all sport sponsorship by drinks companies in advance of the 2012 London Olympics.

Steve Sinnott, general secretary, told how a child following a football club such as Everton, which is sponsored by Chang, the Thai beer, was being over-exposed to alcohol. Addressing the union's annual conference in Harrogate, he said: "He looks forward to a Carling Cup match between Everton and Liverpool. "On the chests of those playing against his heroes is the Carlsberg lager logo. And the men in blue sport the logo of the Thai beer, Chang. Our man also wears a shirt with the same logo. When Everton score, the striker indicates that the celebrations will include more than a social drink. Our lad is home in time to watch the sport's news. He sees the scorer of Everton's winning goal presented with the man of the match award - a bottle of champagne. The effects on the young are stark".

"The union warned that the culture of drinking in sport glamorised alcohol abuse among children. One in five of all pupils excluded from school do so for drinking and 16 per cent of all expelled children consume alcohol every day, it is claimed. Drink related deaths among young people are up 60 per cent since 1991," Graeme Paton reported in The Telegraph.