The president of the College of Emergency Medicine has called on England fans to lay off the booze during the World Cup for their own sake and the sake of the hard-pressed hospitals.
A rise in alcohol-related injuries during the tournament is expected, as people across the country pile into pubs.
Assault victims are predicted to make up a large proportion of injuries.
“During the World Cup, and particularly when England are playing, people will find themselves either at home or in the pub and are obviously very excited about the upcoming event,” said College of Emergency Medicine president Dr John Heyworth.
“With the build-up to the match, the game itself and the aftermath, there is an opportunity for some substantial drinking - and we know that when people are passionate about football matches and alcohol is involved, it can lead to some great times but also some less favourable incidents.”
“We see an increase in the number of people tripping over, falling down stairs and crashing their cars,” Dr Heyworth explained.
“Alcohol-related concerns are focused in a very small time frame around big international matches. A lot of drinking, a lot of passion, a lot of excitement, hopefully a lot of euphoria and sometimes a bit of disappointment – a mix that can very easily lead to either violence or accidents, and people need to be aware of that.”
An increase in domestic abuse, which rose during the World Cup in 2006, is also expected by specialists at Southampton General Hospital.
Dr Rob Crouch, a consultant nurse in the emergency department, said: “The rate of domestic abuse increased during the World Cup in 2006 and it was far higher on the weekends when England had significant games.
“If individuals are at risk, or perceive themselves to be at risk, they should be aware of the increased dangers and make plans accordingly, keeping key contact numbers to hand and have clear plans to protect themselves and others who may be at risk.”
Dr Heyworth added: “People can have a great time and be very enthusiastic and passionate about their support for England, which we all want to be, but it does need just a bit of thought to make sure it doesn’t all go wrong.”