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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 May;61(5):732-42

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.11317-9


language: English

Alcohol, youth and sport: recommendation and good practice examples from the FYFA European project

Claudia GANDIN, Alice MATONE , Silvia GHIRINI, Emanuele SCAFATO on behalf of FYFA Work Package 5 working team 

National Observatory on Alcohol, National Center on Addiction and Doping, WHO Collaborating Center for Health Promotion and Research on Alcohol and Alcohol-Related Problems ITA-79, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Rome, Italy

Focus on Youth Football and Alcohol (FYFA) is a European project (EC, 3rd Health Program, HP-PJ-2016) involving research institutions from Belgium, Finland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and the UK. The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), was the project leader of Work Package 5: “Review of national policies and practice in six Member States related to alcohol, young people, sport, marketing and football.” The aim of WP5 was to determine the status quo of the policies and practices to reduce heavy episodic drinking related to young people, alcohol and sport at national level. This work investigates knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of experts from sport settings and from the prevention area giving insights on the perceived obstacles and facilitators, whenever available, to promote strategies to reduce alcohol related harm in youth within sport contexts. The presented work describes laws, regulations and attitudes. Furthermore, the results help identifying areas requiring development, highlighting examples of good practices. It emerges that prevention of alcohol-related harm to youth is important within sport settings and should be a priority for all FYFA countries. Despite the presence of regulations, there is a low level of knowledge and enforcement at national level and in the sport contexts; and there is the need of cooperation across organizations to implement alcohol policies for youth within sport settings. More efforts and resources are needed to overcome the main obstacles for effective implementation of alcohol policies, such as regulations on advertising and sponsorship, and alcohol selling, serving and consumption for young players. It is necessary to implement information strategies, prevention initiatives, training programs and to support the dialogue between sporting and prevention settings.

KEY WORDS: Alcohols; Sports; Underage drinking; Binge drinking

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