The English Premier League football competition is reportedly considering dropping champagne as its Man of the Match award in order to avoid offending Muslims.
The move follows an awkward moment when Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City’s Muslim player Yaya Toure snubbed the traditional prize after his side beat Newcastle in a recent match-up in the top tier competition.
The UK's The Sun newspaper said sponsors Barclays are behind the decision. “The bank is all over the bottle, so Barclays wonder whether it is acceptable to give alcohol, given that so many nationalities are in the league,” the newspaper report, quoting an unnamed source.
Website Goal.com said the English Premier League had already considered altering its policy on the grounds of cultural sensitivity.
“We sought advice from religious groups before concluding that the champagne was treated as a highly coveted award,” a spokesman in a statement.
Champagne is given to the outstanding player in any televised game, a tradition that's been in place ever since the English Premier League was established in 1992. Many clubs also give a similar award after home games.