Football fans are being warned that they could face deportation, police violence or even imprisonment if they fail to respect an unfamiliar culture during the world cup.
‘Some fans might find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings during the tournament,’ said Home Secretary Cruella Nezdevin. Particularly if they go looking for alcohol in posher parts of town.
‘So if lovers of cheap swill do accidentally end up in a blue-chip wine merchants or expensive independent bottle shop, it’s essential that they know how to behave.’
Mind your language
Government advisors have issued guidelines to fan groups about the dangers of using offensive language.
‘In a local off-licence there might be nothing wrong with asking for a family pack of cheese and onion, 20 Marlborough Lights and a Kumala Sauvignon Blanc,’ warned one official.
‘But talking like this to a wine merchant who’s expecting you to shell out £50 for an off-vintage of Burgundy would be seen as deeply disrespectful.’
Disrespecting the teachings of Jancis Robinson, he added, ‘could cause a riot.’
Outreach groups have also warned about the importance of being sensitive to the culture of local dress codes.
‘Things have moved on since the 1980s, and merchants no longer expect their customers to wear thick brightly-coloured corduroys,’ said Emmi Rates of Fans and Toffs Together (FATT).
‘But many of the older ones still adhere to traditional dress and it’s important not to laugh at them, however strange you might find their outfit.’
It was customary, she added, for all merchants to keep their overheads covered at all times, by draping products in loose-fitting mark-ups.
‘Failure to understand this,’ she told Fake Booze, ‘could result in unceremonious deportation… of money your wallet.’
The biggest potential for misunderstandings, however, lies in the very different attitudes to alcohol.
‘Most of our member’s stores are ‘dry’, with humour or imagination strictly banned,’ said Yuri Knott-Welcome of the Posh Merchants Association.
‘Although some will tolerate a small amount of customer engagement, it’s certainly not encouraged.’
While there had been a slight relaxing of attitudes over the last few years, he admitted that progress was still slow.
‘You have to remember that most of these places have decades of not trying to make drink accessible in any way whatsoever,’ said Knott-Welcome. ‘It’s deeply ingrained in their culture. They’re not going to change overnight.’
The government says it has introduced a new Louts and Gits Enforcement Restraint (LAGER) order, which can be invoked in an emergency, such as anyone wearing a football shirt or draped in a flag trying to gain entry to a place that sells £30 corkscrews.
‘The last thing we want is a scenario where a group of sweating men are singing ‘Who drank all the Pais? Who drank all the Pais? Drink Fat Bastard, drink Fat Bastard. Who drank all the Pais?’ to the head of Berry Bros,’ said Cruella Nezduvin.
‘It would be as uncomfortable as watching the head of Diageo explain to shareholders why they paid $1bn for a tequila owned by George Clooney.’