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14/03/2013

Italy leading the way on preventing alcohol related harm in sports

Tonight in the European League Inter Milan is playing with the UK based Tottenham; the match will take place in an alcohol free environment.

Italy is leading the way for the rest of European cities on how to prevent alcohol related harm.

Eurocare warmly welcomes this initiative to keep area of Milan where the match it taking place alcohol free.

Alcohol is one of the world’s leading health risks; use of alcohol is especially harmful for younger age groups. The World Economic Forum identified non communicable diseases (NCDs) as the second most severe threat to the global economy in terms of likelihood and potential economic loss, causing estimated 25 trillion EUR of output loss over the period 2005-2030.

Moreover, alarmingly 43% of 15-16 year old European students report heavy binge drinking. Alcohol is the world’s leading risk factor for death among males aged 15-59 2[vii] and Europe is the world’s heaviest drinking region, some European countries rank around 2.5 times higher than the global average. Alcohol related harm is one of the 4 risk factors for developing NCDs such as cancer (which affects 1 in 3 Europeans) and cardiovascular disease.

Sport is not an arena for alcohol promotion and to associate and brand football together with alcohol is more than problematic. Unfortunately, it is common practice across Europe for alcohol industry to be heavily present at football sports events through sponsorship and exclusive selling deals.

Therefore, the move by Milan to create alcohol free area around that match is very warmly welcomed and should serve as good practice for other cities which want to decrease public disorder and protect health and wellbeing of their citizens