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BRITISH SOCCER ENTHUSIASTS WANT BREWERY NAMES OFF JERSEYS
Published February 27, 1995
Some "angry fans" of British soccer are blaming the game riots on the primary sponsor of soccer teams and leagues: beer companies. Mark Bennett, a spokesperson for Alcohol Concern, a pressure group in the UK that wants brewers voluntarily to drop their names from team shirts: "It's quite obvious the role that alcohol plays in acting as a fuel for disorder." The brewers deny their marketing efforts contribute to the riotous behavior. Bass sponsorship manager Jonathan Nye: "Football fans drink beer, and there's no denying that. ... There's no correlation that shows beer sponsorship encourages anything to do with violence or soccer troubles at all." But according to Tara Parker-Pope in this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, "the troubled alliance of beer sponsors, soccer clubs and the rowdy fans who love them both, has prompted widespread criticism and even spurred some countries to ban alcohol-related advertising on team jerseys and in stadiums." The list of soccer-club sponsors is a "veritable who's who of the European brewing industry," which includes Coors UK, a joint venture between Coors and Britain's Scottish & Newcastle brewery, Carlsberg, Bass, Heineken and Holsten-Brauerei (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/27).