Bah humbug! A pub ban for the beautiful game

WITH less than a month to go until kick-off, World Cup fever is beginning to grip the country.

Many excited football fans will already be planning which pubs and clubs they will be watching England take on the likes of USA, Algeria and Slovenia.

But there is one Essex pub where they will most definitely not be welcomed.

The Victory in Walton on the Naze is imposing a ban on football talk for the duration of the much-anticipated tournament.

Anyone mentioning the dreaded ‘f-word’ or wearing football-themed clothing will be fined with their donation going to charity.

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Landlord Russell Bettany is also rejecting screening the matches in the Suffolk Street pub and aims instead to be a haven for football widows who have been red-carded from the sofa.

The clampdown on footie lovers is the brainchild of the pub’s Humbug Club.

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Mr Bettany, who has been landlord at the Victory for four years, said: “It is a unanimous decision by staff, management and customers.

“The World Cup does get a bit out of hand and seems to take over and football is all anyone talks about.

“My regulars really don’t want football in their ears 24/7 so the Humbug Club has struck again and banned the World Cup.

“Anyone mentioning the f-word will be fined a minimum of 20p each time, the same for anyone wearing a football shirt.

“I hope that the World Cup widows will come along to escape from the fuss.”

The pub’s Humbug Club made headlines when it banned Christmas from The Victory and made reindeer the highlight of its December menu.

By fining festive offenders the club raised more than �1,000 for charity as well as offering sanctuary to anyone wanting to escape the commercialisation of Christmas.

Now it hopes to offer a safe haven to anyone who does not know their Crouch from their Cole and thinks the penalty spot is a discipline technique used by Supernanny.

All the money raised will go to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) which cares for youngsters with terminal or life-threatening conditions.

Since the Humbug Club’s scrooge-style activities were first made public when it banned Christmas its membership has soared to 150 and it made headlines across the world, and was featured on US television.

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