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French Open officially bans alcohol in the stands following disruptive behavior

Alcohol will no longer be permitted in the stands of the French Open after a series of reports of disruptive behavior from fans.

A spokesman for the French Tennis Federation confirmed to CNN that tournament director Amélie Mauresmo made the announcement at an informal press briefing at the media center.

“She reminded everyone of the rules concerning the prohibition of alcohol, the vigilance of security guards and the role of referees in managing the public,” he added.

Mauresmo told reporters that while organizers were happy that people were “enthusiastic” during the tournament, “there are definitely steps which shouldn’t go further. A few things have needed to be put in place,” per Reuters.

“Alcohol was allowed until now in the stands, but that’s over… If they exceed the limit, if they don’t behave well or if they throw things at the players, that’s it,” she said.

Goffin said a spectator spat gum at him during his first round victory over Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. - Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters
Goffin said a spectator spat gum at him during his first round victory over Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. - Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters

This comes after Belgian player David Goffin said a spectator spat chewing gum at him during his first-round victory over Frenchman Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Iga Świątek criticized spectators for shouting during points following her tense second-round victory against Naomi Osaka.

“I have huge respect for you guys and I know that we are playing basically for you because this is entertainment and we are also earning money because of you,” defending Roland Garros champion Świątek said in her on-court interview.

“But sometimes, [we’re] under a lot of pressure. When you scream something during the rally or right before the return, it’s really, really hard to be focused … This is serious for us, we’re fighting our whole lives to be better and better and, sometimes, it’s just hard to accept that.

Meanwhile, Goffin called some spectator behavior “total disrespect.”

“It’s becoming football. Soon, there will be smoke bombs, hooligans and there will be fights in the stands.

“It’s starting to become ridiculous. Some people are there more to cause trouble than to create an atmosphere,” he added.

CNN’s George Ramsay contributed reporting.

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