England fans warned: No Boxpark-style beer throwing against Denmark

England fans hurl their pints

England fans have been told not to “chuck the beers in the air” when they get to drink alcohol in their seats for the first time in years at a major tournament.

Celebrating a goal by launching a plastic cup of beer skyward has become a craze at the likes of Wembley Boxpark during World Cups, European Championships and Nations League finals.

But England fan leaders have urged supporters attending the Euro 2024 match against Denmark not to shower other spectators in booze amid an ongoing row over whether a ban in the UK on drinking in view of the pitch should be lifted.

Thursday’s game is England’s first at a major tournament for more than five years in which fans from the UK will be able to drink alcohol in their seats.

Doing so was prohibited during their opening Group C win against Serbia amid fears about mass disorder, a decision that was compounded by the sale of low-strength beer inside the ground.

Alcohol was virtually banned altogether at the World Cup in Qatar, while the coronavirus-affected Euro 2020 scheduled England on home soil, where drinking in the open in view of the pitch has been illegal since the 1980s, for all but one game.

The law was changed amid the hooliganism that plagued English grounds at that time but which has all but been eradicated inside grounds, and fans and clubs have long since been lobbying for the legislation to be repealed.

England supporters have been able to drink in their seats at other games played overseas in recent years but none would have been attended, or watched on television, by as many as Thursday’s.

Calls for English football’s booze ban to be scrapped have also been met with fierce opposition from the head of the UK Football Policing Unit, Chief Constable Mark Roberts.

Roberts cited the prospect of spectators receiving a “lager shampoo” – and of that leading to fights breaking out – when arguing against the lifting of the current ban.

Giving evidence to MPs on the Culture, Media & Sport select committee before the last World Cup, he said: “If you’ve continually got people standing up, going for a drink, going to the toilet, coming back, as they’re coming back, they’re spilling beer on people, it’s actually going to cause more trouble. So, I just think this is a really dangerous argument to suggest that we should be bringing alcohol back.”

His comments followed a recommendation in a government-commissioned report for a pilot to be carried out at lower-league level allowing spectators to drink within view of the pitch.

The Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, chaired by former sports minister Dame Tracey Crouch, included the proposal as means of helping financially stricken clubs boost revenue.

Crouch, who attended Sunday’s England-Serbia game after standing down as a Conservative MP when the general election was called, told Telegraph Sport: “It is particularly weird that you can, as a sports fan, go on a Saturday to watch the rugby and have a beer. And, then, Sunday, go to watch the football and not be allowed a beer.

“Perhaps the view of football fans of the past is still casting its very long shadow in terms of behaviour today, where I think there’s a much more family-friendly atmosphere and the fans are – a majority – behaving themselves.”

Labour MP and former shadow sports minister Clive Efford, whose party is likely to form the next government, said: “People should be able to have a drink watching the match but no beer should be sold during the games to stop people getting up during play.”

The stakes, therefore, could not be higher for those campaigning for it to be lifted, including fan leaders in Frankfurt from the Free Lions Fans’ embassy.

Speaking after issuing the warning against throwing beer in the latest edition of the Free Lions fanzine, the embassy’s Thomas Concannon told Telegraph Sport he hoped Thursday’s game showed English fans could be trusted to drink responsibly in their seats

“It’s hopefully the start of a normalisation of it happening and that it doesn’t become such a big topic because it feels unnecessary that it is,” he said, adding it “would” help if supporters did not throw beer in the air.

“The encouragement is obviously for fans to drink the beer that they’ve spent a lot of money on.”