FA to scrap giving champagne to FA Cup winners out of respect for players’ religious beliefs

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Manchester City will attempt to win the FA Cup for the first time under Pep Guardiola when they take on Watford on May 18.

While City’s main targets at the start of the season were defending their Premier League title and also trying to win the Champions League, winning both domestic cup competitions is no small feat.

But while Guardiola and his players will want to end the day by spraying themselves with champagne, it will be non-alcoholic champagne that they would be using.

The Football Association are scrapping the long-standing tradition of awarding a case of alcoholic champagne to the winners of the FA Cup.

Per the Daily Mail, the move has been made in order to respect players’ religious beliefs.

English football’s governing body are ditching the celebrations to avoid offending players who aren’t able to drink alcohol due to their beliefs.

The Muslim faith strictly prohibits alcohol use and other religions do not encourage it.

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Alcohol-free champagne will be used

The FA are also aware of the fact that some players do not drink at all, while others are under the legal age.

Instead, a case of alcohol-free champagne will be placed in the winners’ dressing room. So the famous spraying celebrations will remain a post-game sight.

The Mail understand that the FA have considered making the change sooner but were concerned about being labelled ‘party-poopers’.

In this year’s final, Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure and City trio Riyad Mahrez, Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan follow Islamic faith.

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A spokesman for the governing body 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.”

In 2012, the Premier League stopped handing out alcoholic champagne as man of the match awards after Muslim players turned down the bottles.

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