The FA has scrapped Champagne from its cup final celebrations out of respect for the religious beliefs of some footballers. English football’s governing body have had a long-standing tradition of awarding the winning team a case of Champagne after the showpiece final.
This is often sprayed on the pitch following the trophy lift – but the beverage will not be offered from this year’s edition between Manchester City and Watford .
Instead, an alcohol-free substitute will be provided so players can still spray the contents over each other.
Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan are among the Muslims who could take part in this year’s final, along with Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure. Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol.
Additionally, some other players are teetotal while others are under the legal drinking age of 18.
The move follows the Premier League opting to stop awarding players Champagne as a prize for being man of the match in 2012.
An FA spokesman said: “Winning teams will be awarded with non-alcoholic ‘champagne’ for their celebrations in all FA competitions, starting from this year’s Emirates FA Cup Final.
“This is to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible to players and communities who may be prohibited from alcohol, as well as any players who are under 18.”