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21st June 2018

FCO & Drinkaware Alcohol Warnings For Travelling World Cup Fans

Counterfeit vodka and generous spirit measures served in Russian bars and restaurants, are among the issues facing British people travelling to the World Cup, warns the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

As supporters make the journey to the tournament following England’s victory in their opening game against Tunisia, Drinkaware and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) are offering support and advice on sensible drinking during the tournament.

An infographic featuring the advice is available on the Drinkaware website at Key messages about potential problems facing fans are also being widely circulated on social media using the FCO’s #BeOnTheBall hashtag. Warnings include:

  • Vodka is Russia’s most commonly counterfeited spirit, and fakes may contain cleaning fluid, nail polish remover and antifreeze. Fans are advised to be wary of unusual brand names and never drink alcohol that tastes or smells bad.
  • The spirits measures served in Russian bars and restaurants may be larger than those served in the UK. Fans should be wary of drinking too much when toasting their team.
  • Fans who overindulge are in danger of missing the match; all venues and fan zones can refuse entry to anyone who appears intoxicated or disorderly.

The social media campaign supported by Drinkaware also includes positive advice on sensible drinking for travelling fans, including the need to stay hydrated in the heat of the Russian summer by having water or soft drinks between alcoholic drinks, as well as downloading Drinkaware’s free mobile app to keep track of their drinking.

Julia Longbottom, Director of Consular Services at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said, “Through our Be on the Ball campaign, the FCO has been helping fans travelling to the World Cup to prepare for a safe trip. We are pleased to work with Drinkaware to provide this advice on sensible drinking.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves in Russia and get to see the football. This advice should help fans avoid pitfalls with alcohol getting in the way of that.”

Drinkaware Chief Executive Elaine Hindal said, “We’ve worked closely with the FCO to ensure that travelling fans can access guidance on sensible drinking quickly and easily.

“We all hope that England will progress in the tournament, and more supporters are likely to head out to Russia if they do. We hope that all England supporters in Russia enjoy the football without putting themselves at risk.”

The FCO’s official advice for fans travelling to Russia is available at

Notes to editors

Drinkaware is an independent UK-wide, alcohol education charity with the objective of positively changing public behaviour and the national drinking culture. It aims to reduce alcohol misuse and minimise harm by helping people make better choices about their drinking. It achieves this by providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice and practical resources; raising awareness of alcohol and its harms and by working collaboratively with partners, including the medical community, public health, third sector organisations, local authorities, police and the drinks industry.

Drinkaware has more than 100 funders, including UK alcohol producers, retailers in the on-trade and off-trade and wholesalers.

For further information visit


For further information:          John Porter: or 07734 054389

Ros Shiel: or 07841 694137