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Alcohol is forbidden at Paris 2024 Olympics!

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Beer is regularly sold at rugby matches in France, thanks to a loophole in the law, and will be on sale during this year's World Cup ©Getty Images

Like Qatar 2022 World Cup,  alcohol will not be sold in any of the venues at next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

Under a law dating back more than 30 years, alcohol is banned from sports stadiums, but organisers of this year’s Rugby World Cup in France had negotiated an exemption.

Paris 2024, though, is not seeking to have the law lifted for the Olympics, newspaper Le Parisien reported.

But beer, wine and spirits will be allowed to be served in VIP and corporate hospitality areas.

 

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The 1991 Evin law prohibits the sale, distribution and introduction of alcoholic beverages in sports and physical activity establishments.

Many fans in France have lobbied for allowing alcohol to be sold at stadia across the country, complaining about the hypocrisy of selling it in VIP areas, but nowhere else.

 

In 2019, France’s then Health Minister Agnès Buzyn suggested that alcohol should also be banned from VIP areas, but her idea was quickly quashed by the drinks industry.

 

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There are, however, several loopholes in the law which mean that wine, beer and cider are regularly sold at events for certain sports, such as rugby.

 

The law also allows local mayors to grant a limited number per year of exceptions to the law.

 

Japanese beer company Asahi has signed up as sponsor of the Rugby World Cup, due to take place between September 8 and October 28 and beer will be sold at the 48 matches at venues in the nine cities, as it is for normal domestic or international rugby games in France.

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It appears that Paris 2024 will not be taking advantage of any of these loopholes.

Alcohol was also banned from stadiums at the last Olympic Games in Tokyo, but in the end spectators were not allowed to attend venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beer and wine was available at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in London and Rio de Janeiro, respectively.

Last November, on the eve of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, organisers announced that beer would not be available for sale in stadiums.

 A ban on selling beer at FIFA World Cup venues in Qatar was imposed at the last minute ©Getty Images

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Previously, ticket-holders – according to FIFA’s fan guide – were told they would be able to buy Budweiser at the Brand Activation Areas within the stadium perimeter three hours prior to kick-off and one hour after the final whistle.

Inside the actual stadiums, fans were only ever able to buy Budweiser Zero – which is non-alcoholic – and Coca-Cola.

-Insidethegames

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Olympics

Djokovic confirmed for Paris Olympics

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French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2024 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his fourth round match against Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

Novak Djokovic will compete at this year’s Olympic Games in Paris, the Olympic Committee of Serbia has announced.

The 24-times Grand Slam winner will be attending his fifth Olympics since his first in 2008 when he won a bronze medal.

The 37-year-old had knee surgery last month after he was forced to pull out of the French Open with an injury sustained in a fourth-round win that cast doubt over his chances of playing at Wimbledon and at the Paris Games.

World number three Djokovic will look to end his title drought in 2024 after winning three out of the four Grand Slams last year as he chases an elusive Olympic gold medal at the Paris Games in which Spain’s Rafa Nadal will also compete.

Dusan Lajovic, ranked 56th, will also play for Serbia in the July 27-Aug. 4 Olympic tournament at Roland Garros.

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-Reuters

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Mbappe rules out playing at Paris Games after Real Madrid move

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Kylian Mbappe confirmed on Sunday he will not play for France’s Olympic team at the Paris Games as his new club Real Madrid are against the idea.

The 25-year-old said in March that he was keen on playing at his home Games but since the Olympic soccer tournament is not on FIFA’s calendar clubs are not obliged to release their players.

Mbappe was not included in a 25-man preliminary squad for the Olympics earlier this month, though head coach Thierry Henry left the door open.

“My club’s position was very clear, so from that moment on, I think I (knew) I won’t be taking part in the Games,” Mbappe told reporters ahead of Monday’s Group D match against Austria at Euro 2024.

“That’s just the way it is, and I understand that too. I’m joining a new team in September, so it’s not the best way to start an adventure.

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“I’m going to wish this French team all the best. I’m going to watch every game. I hope they’ll win the gold medal.”

The men’s Olympic football competition begins on July 24, 10 days after the European Championships final, and ends on Aug. 9.

-Reuters

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Messi says he won’t play for Argentina at Paris Games

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Lionel Messi said he will not be part of Argentina’s squad for the Paris Olympics as he is no longer at an age where he can play in every tournament.

The 36-year-old Inter Miami forward is currently preparing for Argentina’s Copa America title defence, which runs from June 20 to July 14 in the United States.

In February, under-23 manager Javier Mascherano said Messi, who won gold with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had an invitation to join the squad for Paris.

“I talked to Mascherano and the truth is we both understood the situation,” Messi told ESPN.

“It’s hard (to think about the Olympics right now) because we’re in Copa America. It would be two, three straight months of not being with the club, and more than anything I’m not at an age to be in everything.

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“I have to choose carefully, and it would be too much to play two straight tournaments. I’ve been very lucky to play in the Olympics, of winning it together with (Mascherano).

“It was a wonderful experience on a football level. Olympics, U20, memories I’ll never forget.”

The men’s football tournament at the Olympics takes place in July and August. Teams are allowed three overage players in their squads.

-Reuters

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