Pub defends football shirt ban during the World Cup

IPSWICH: A pub had defended its decision to ban football strips during the World Cup after a customer was asked to turn his England shirt inside out.

Robert Smith chose to leave The Swan, in King Street, rather than follow the instructions of doormen, who pointed out the pub’s policy after England’s first World Cup game.

Mr Smith had been watching the match in Kesgrave but ventured into town for some post-match drinks and was shocked to hear the request to disguise his England shirt. The 35-year-old, from Martlesham Heath, said: “I heard stories kicking about that fans might not be able to wear shirts in some pubs.

“But I was allowed past the door staff and only approached half-an-hour later when a doorman took hold of my shirt and told me I’d have to go to the toilet and turn it inside out!

“I can’t recall anyone else wearing shirts but I saw no signs up in the pub to say they couldn’t be worn.”

Mr Smith opted to leave The Swan and go elsewhere for the rest of the evening.

He said he will not be returning there during the competition, which is taking place in South Africa, adding: “I’m quite a placid chap and I decided just to leave but they might have got a different reaction from someone else.

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“I was out to enjoy myself and wasn’t there to cause trouble.”

The Swan told The Evening Star that it carries out a policy during the World Cup of not allowing football shirts to be worn but that fans are still welcome in the pub, which advertises itself as ‘The only Alternative.’ Posters have been put up around the pub promoting that rule.

Manager and England fan, Damian Royal said: “We ask that people bring a spare shirt. If they don’t have one they will be asked to turn their England shirts inside out.

“We have chosen not to screen the games and instead offer somewhere to go for people who are not interested in football.

“Supporters are welcome here before and after the games.”

n Is the pub right to prohibit customers wearing football shirts during the World Cup? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or alternatively you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@ eveningstar.co.uk

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