Cape sports associations are opposing changes to the legislation that could see alcohol advertisements banned in sport. According to a Cape Argus report, this follows a statement released by the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (Saapa) announcing their support for the ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport.

At the moment, a Liquor Amendment Bill, which seeks to ban alcohol advertisements in broadcasting and also raise the legal drinking age to 21, is before Cabinet. Saapa said: ‘What Saapa is calling for is simply to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport and other sectors, coupled with an increase in the price of alcohol products, an increase in the legal age of purchasing, and an expansion of the liability for harm to producers, distributors, marketers and traders.’ Saapa said it is aware of many other industries that would love to fund sport.

However, provincial sports associations disagreed.

President of the provincial SA Football Association, Bennett Bailey, said: ‘If there is a ban on advertising, that means alcohol companies would withdraw from sport. Sport will suffer because it’s difficult to get funding, especially in amateur sports.’ SA Liquor Brand-Owners Association chair Sibani Mngadi said: ‘The Soccer World Cup coming in Russia in June is sponsored by a beer brand, and so is the Uefa Cup currently under way. If followed, Saapa’s proposal will mean that South Africans should never watch these global tournaments.’

Full Cape Argus report (subscription needed)