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?”