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Underage drinking falls at sports venues

There was a drop last season in sales of alcohol to underage drinkers at Swiss football and ice hockey stadiums, says the Swiss Alcohol Board.

Tests found alcohol was sold to the underaged in 34.4 per cent of cases during the season 2010/2011 compared with in 61.6 per cent of cases in the season 2009/2010.

Under Swiss law beer and wine cannot be sold to anyone under 16 and spirits to people under 18.

The Swiss Alcohol Board also checked whether retailers were trained about underage drinking, whether information on the legal age was clearly visible and whether there were enough non-alcoholic drinks on offer.

It found while there was a lack of non-alcoholic alternatives, staff had been better schooled. In addition, some stadiums, such as the Postfinance Arena in Bern, had set a voluntary drinking age limit of 18 years old.

The measures were carried out as part of the round table on sport safety, set up by Sport Minister Ueli Maurer. Representatives of clubs and sports officials have identified alcohol as a main factor behind the rise in hooliganism.

Concerns have been raised as well about youth drinking in Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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