Weak beer for soccer fans

Dutch officials water down beer for Euro 2000 games

June 9, 2000 - Dutch police have watered down the beer for England's opening game with Portugal in the Euro 2000 football championships on Monday.


"Festival Beer" containing only 2.5% alcohol will be the sole drink available in the center of Eindhoven during the tournament. The measure has been ordered by Raen Welfche, the town's mayor, in an attempt to minimize the risk of trouble from soccer hooligans during the tournament.

The police have also banned the sale of beer in bottles, which could be used as missiles. Plastic beakers will be used.

The same rules will be in effect for other games scheduled to be played in the town: Turkey against Sweden and Italy against Sweden. Local authorities decided against closing the bars although they have the power to do so should that become necessary.

The mayor decided against closing the town's 10 coffee shops where cannabis smoking is allowed, despite fears that foreign football supporters will not be able to cope with "high-quality Dutch joints".

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