English football mulls champagne prize ban

Premier League's sponsor reportedly concerned alcoholic award will offend Muslims

Champagne is traditionally handed to the best player in English football matches.

Champagne is traditionally handed to the best player in English football matches.

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.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Harmony

Lst I heard, alcohol was legal in the UK and the county was predominantly Christian. When do the crazy politically correct idiots stop erroding the rights and customs of the indiginous population. It's not like anyone will be force-fed alcohol. That's the beauty of the country - there is currently freedom to choose. Of course that's only at the moment - I despair of a country that wants to give away its traditions to keep the immigrants happy. Can you see the UAE changing its fundamental traditions to avoid upsetting the expats - I think not!

Posted by: Skand Bhargava

Taking religion based decisions in such matters is wrong. It sends wrong signals and sets up bad precedence. What next? Will they stop serving beef in the parties because it will hurt the sensibilities of Hindus? That would be ridiculous. I as a Hindu can refuse beef if I allow my religion to dictate my life style, but why should my religous belief deprive christians, muslims and people of other beliefs of their favorite dish?

Posted by: Freeman

Given that Alcohol has become a huge problem in Britain and especially the cheap booze that has caused binge drinking, I think Alcohol should be banned all together. The UK has one of the highest rates of fatalities from Alcohol and it costs the NHS billions of dollars. I recommend it is stopped and not just on religious grounds.

Posted by: michael farley

UAE has one of the highest fatalities in car deaths by local drivers , perhaps you should ban cars,
It is time that the world realised that there are and always will be differences of opinions based on Religion, race and gender, so stop trying to please everybody, it does not work

Posted by: Telcoguy

"The UK has one of the highest rates of fatalities from Alcohol"
Really? Can you give us some detail on this, you know, something like trusted sources?

Because the ones I can find show UK ranking on position 76th (roughly 200 countries in the world in case you wonder) on a global ranking, with 1.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants per year. As a comparison the US ranks 49th with 1.6 Top position goes to El Salvador with over 25, in case you are curious.

This is according to http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com and as far as have checked the numbers match the World Health Organization.

But hey, do not let data interfere with your prejudices, it takes less than 3 minutes to check this in trusted sources (unless of course you think the WHO is part of a vast conspiracy)

Posted by: His Excellency Dr Paul

It should be up to the player. Nobody is forcing him to drink it. Let the vast majority of players who love champagne continue to receive it. Anyone who doesn't want it, can have a bottle of milk or tizer or something instead.

It's a tradition, anyone who doesn't like England's traditions doesn't have to play football there.

Posted by: diesel

Who said its an English tradition? Sniffing snuff; now that's an English tradition.

Posted by: Lionheart

The English Premier League if they have failed to realise is played in England and alcohol is part of English and British culture , those players whose faith does not allow them to accept can politely refuse and then be given something else .
The minority should never dictate that of the majority , unless that is you're living in the skewed politically correct United Kingdom where the indigenous population have less rights than immigrants .

Posted by: Harmony

@Mamluke - it's rubbish like this that is driving the indigenous population to join the English Defence League. It's not inclusive of the people that want to continue to receive champagne, is it? Who happen to be in the majority at the moment. If you don't like the culture, don't go there, don't buy English clubs - invest in Al Wasl.

Posted by: Mamluke

Its not the minority that is dictating to the majority, its the League considering a new policy to be inclusive of all people.

Go back to you EDL forum.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi blockade vexes Qatar's $200bn World Cup projects

Saudi blockade vexes Qatar's $200bn World Cup projects

Qatar is spending $500m a week to bring the world’s biggest sporting...

Qatari cycling event foreshadows 2022 World Cup weather concerns

Qatari cycling event foreshadows 2022 World Cup weather concerns

Competitors at a world cycling competition in Qatar may have...

Bahraini overtures to Kenya-born runners attract medals, controversy

Bahraini overtures to Kenya-born runners attract medals, controversy

Oil-rich Bahrain has been luring poor but talented young runners...

Most Discussed