Call for booze ban during Wales games after ‘frightening’ levels of drinking at All Blacks match
The Chief Executive of a Cardiff-based recovery centre has called for a ban on alcohol during Wales’ rugby matches after witnessing “frightening” levels of drinking at the game against the All Blacks at the Principality Stadium.
Former TV director and actor Wynford Ellis Owen, who will celebrate 30 years without drink this year after a long battle with alcoholism, said that excessive drinking had become “normalised to such an extent that it’s now an epidemic”.
He added that after paying £75 to watch a game, the last the union could do is encourage people to stay in their seats to watch it.
“I just noticed one or two going back and forth to the bar,” he told Golwg360.
“They were getting more and more drunk during the game, and they showed no respect for the players or anyone else who was trying to watch the game.
“They spent most of the game at the bar, going to and from the toilets.
“It wasn’t a special game for us anyway, with the All Blacks playing so well, but I was angry and disappointed that I had paid so much.
“I urge the Union to think seriously about this, because many are fed up.”
The Welsh Rugby Union has introduced non-alcohol areas during games but Wynfor Ellis Owen said that more needed to be done.
“I understand that [the Welsh Rugby Union] has financial problems, but when money comes above everything, there is a problem,” he said. “The only reason they keep the bar open during the game is to make money.
“It’s a bit of a shame that they would only stop selling during the game. It’s become a culture now where it’s normal to go to a pub to drink before the game, drink throughout the game, and find a bar after the game.
“I accept that drinking has always been part of the culture, but the tickets cost so much now – about £75 I paid – the least I could expect is peace to enjoy the game.
“I do wonder whether it’s rugby or alcohol that’s the main attraction here?”
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Just do what we do in the football. Don’t allow people to take their alcohol to the seats, you can only drink it in the concourse in the back. This would probably help with the morgue like atmosphere at the Millenium as well as well as keeping seats full and the atmosphere at a constant. The way I see it, the WRFU have outpriced normal fans and just filled the stadium with richer half arsed glory supporters only there for a booze up. Persuade people who actually want to watch the rugby to go to the matches and not the… Read more »
The reason the football is at CCS is they can barely fill that, nevermind the Mil. Stadium!!
Who has the way better atmosphere? The football stadium or the rugby morgue?
How much is a pint there anyway? £6.50 at Wembley on Rugby League Final day, free water from fountains. Take your choice…
Was at the Proncipality on Saturday. Never again. It was like being at an English Alcoholi rave. A DJ playing loud ” music” and getting the crowd into a drunken frenzy. Why not recording of Welsh choirs. That is what made the Wrlsh games unique. No respect for the kickers, not a knowledgeable crowd as in the past. Enough to put any parent off encouraging their youngsters to play rugby. Amen Welsh Rugby R.I.P
Unfortunately, we haven’t got to the stage yet, unlike with smoking, where the real consequences of excessive drinking are taken seriously. Like smoking it a gradual killer we don’t see until it’s too late. I suspect tougher measurers will have to be brought in eventually as the full extent of our booze culture starts affecting the NHS more than it already is.
my wife and I are debenture holders and have been watching rugby for many years. the six nations is not too bad as there are more genuine fans there and also a lack of tickets for less real supporters. the autumn ints are totally different with loads of tickets available to drunken dickheads and their whole families. very difficult to watch a game as they march back and forth either to fetch more booze or go to unload what they have allready drunk. only one answer,ban all booze in the stadium or at least confine it to the concoarse.my preference… Read more »
Nobody enjoys a pint more than me, but I know where and when.
I’ve been at the stadium when “fans” have wandered back and forth buying beer, indeed during one match the stewards had to remove one abusive and very drunk “fan”.
It was always a pleasure to attend a match and did so often when my children were younger, I started taking my grandchildren but stopped because of drunk, up and down “fans.”
A simple message. If you can’t sit still for two hours without a drink. stay away!
Over indulgence spoils things for everyone – I think it is unnecessary to sell alcohol at sporting venues – over kill & profiteering
Seeing we are currently in the grip of a 3rd wave of Covid, giving tens of thousands of Welsh fans access to alcohol, especially after the All Blacks drubbing, was a tad unwise.
I’d say the WRU should know better, but seeing their recent form of selling fans down the river Amazon without a paddle by arranging a match outside the designated international window against the strongest side in the world whilst expecting an understrength Wales side to perform miracles soley to swell their coffers a little disigenious.
I watched the game on AmazonPrime’s Welsh language stream, at home. If there was a bar nearby I’d have been driven to drink too after watching that debacle!
The descent of the WRU to the level of proprietors of an overpriced booze hall has happened over recent decades. It’s all driven by money and a lack of regard for the spectator experience that some Welsh fans wrongly expect when they visit the stadium. The boorish loud disco/club music is amplified when the roof is shut and then we have the steady stream of drunks back and fore to the bars and loos. I gave up going a few years ago. In front of my TV I can turn the sound down if the commentator irritates me. If I… Read more »
It was a money-making friendly after a long spell away. Be wary of reading too much into it.
Are you having a laugh!! The service at the bars was appalling, which caused the enormous queues at the bar. I doubt anyone managed to get more than 2-3 drinks. The reason they were going back and forth was probably to see if the queue had reduced at all.
Then why be at the game if all you do is drink booze and miss the game?
booze freely available where we were,but that’s missing the point.if you want to get hammered go to the pub or better still do it at home.the stadium should be for watching sport but at the moment it’s really difficult to do that because of drunken boorish behaiviour.
My last international was 6 yrs ago. I payed a lot of money for the ticket and spent the whole game standing then sitting to allow drunks to pass with trays of beer which they kindly spilled over my trousers. It was a very sobering experience for me but for no one else in my row as far as I could see!! I made up my mind there and then – never again unless they stop serving alcohol during the game. I won’t hold my breath.
Wynford Ellis Owen is spot on. I noticed that too, the drinking culture is all wrong and damaging.