Champagne to be scrapped for FA Cup winners to avoid offending players' religious beliefs
The newly-implemented rule will come into effect next month when Manchester City face off against Watford in the Emirates FA Cup final, scheduled for May 18. Instead of triumphant players traditionally spraying each other with bottles of bubbly, winners will be presented with a case containing a non-alcoholic alternative.
The decision to cancel the champers celebrations was introduced by the FA’s initiative to make football “inclusive” for all players. Another factor taken into account was handing alcohol to players under the legal age to drink in Britain, which is 18.
“Winning teams will be awarded with non-alcoholic ‘champagne’ for their celebrations in all FA competitions, starting from this year’s Emirates FA Cup Final,” the FA said in a statement.
“This is to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible to players and communities who may be prohibited from alcohol, as well as any players who are under 18.”
A handful of players lining up in this season's final are practicing Muslims, and therefore prohibited from consuming alcohol, including Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure and City players Riyad Mahrez, Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan.Also on rt.com 'F***ing insanity!' Paul Pogba's 'shock' inclusion in PFA Team of the Year splits fans