Dry day dampens city's plans for Euro final

Jul 01, 2012, 08:11 IST | Nivedita Dargalkar and Vinod Kumar Menon

July 2 being declared a dry day, combined with the 1.30 am deadline for pubs and clubs in the city, is going to be a double blow for football fans across the city

If you thought you could enjoy the Euro Cup 2012 finals in a club, bar or a pub, city rules could be a dampener.

Firstly, the match will go on even after the legal time for pubs, which will be open only till 1.30 am. Secondly, thanks to the MLC elections (Teachers and Graduate constituency) on July 2, today is a dry day.

Vinit Ashar refuses to pay a hefty cover charge to watch just half the match. Pic/Sunil Tiwari 

Yogesh More, General Manager of Manchester United Cafe, confirmed, “Till 1.30 am we will be showing the first half of the match as we do not have permission beyond that. Also, today being a dry day, we will not serve alcohol at any of our joints.”

Dawal Oza, a regular partygoer and sports lover from Worli Sea Face is upset. He said, “Where does Mumbai go and watch the Euro Cup finals? The match timings are so odd, (12 to 2.15 am) that there’s no place to enjoy the entire match. The only option is to chill at home with the wife and kids, and enjoy some popcorn. The entire city is going to turn into a couch potato for the match.”

Echoing Oza’s views, 17 year-old student, Vinit Ashar said, “I will be at a friend’s place. It’s useless to pay a hefty cover charge at a pub and not be able to watch the second half of the match, which is the most interesting part.”

Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Nisar Tamboli said, “The Mumbai police is on alert to avert any untoward incident on and before the Graduate and Teacher constituency elections on July 2, and Muslims’ badi raat, which is on July 5. Instructions have been given to every police station to conduct nakabandis, keep vigil for drunk driving cases and even conduct surprise checks for a violation of the dry day order. There will also be police presence on the streets on Sunday night.”

Oza added, “Had it been the cricket finals, I’m sure the law would have made an exemption and allowed places to operate beyond the deadline. But it’s soccer and there aren’t many die-hard police fans for the same.”

ACP Vasant Dhoble, speaking to SMD said, “Wherever illegal activities take place, Mumbai police will take action, and I will continue to do my duty.”

Dr Nikesh Almeida, a 27 year-old physiotherapist, said, “It is useless to go to a pub to enjoy the football final, as we can only watch the first half of the match. Also, tomorrow being a dry day most people will refrain from going to pubs. I plan to catch the match at home over a get-together with family or friends.”

Oza cautions Mumbaikars, “Anyone planning to host a small private party, make sure you have your liquor permits in place. You don’t want your neighbour complaining and Dhoble raiding your house. He will be doing his duty and under the purview of the law would be legally correct, as Patnaik would say.” 

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