Spain: Valencia fights back against fans eating sunflower seeds in the stadium

source:; author: Kuba Kowalski

Spain: Valencia fights back against fans eating sunflower seeds in the stadium The Mestalla stadium is one of the most unique venues in Spain, although it is not new. It is also not helped by fans who litter the stands with sunflower seed shells. As it turns out, this problem, although unusual, should not be so strange to the football fan.


Valencia CF says no to sunflower seeds

While English fans may be used to eating a pancake or burger at halftime of a match, Spanish fans often snack on sunflower seeds - also known as pipas. Unfortunately, many are in the habit of throwing the shells on the floor. At Mestalla, these shells attract rats and the club has also received complaints from local residents who are angry about the noise of the machines used to clean the stands.

To remedy the situation, the club has asked its fans to stop consuming pipas in the stadium. Valencia will stop the sale of pipas in the arena as a first step towards solving the rodent problem. However, the club will not ban fans from bringing their own seeds from home, but is asking fans to take bags with them to dispose of them to prevent a build-up of peelings.


Valencia is not the first

Sunflower seeds and football are two elements that go very well together. They have been consumed in practically every stadium in the country for many years. In addition to the places where this practice is widespread, it has also occurred in other parts of the world. Nine years ago, in the Polish city of Zielona Góra, fans were banned from bringing sunflower seeds into the stadium. Those who decided to smuggle the banned sunflower seeds into the match, however, had to expect that they would be confiscated by security. For die-hard sunflower fans, however, there was one last resort left - in one of the stands the ban did not apply at all.

It must be kept in mind that Valencia is a club with a very unstable financial situation. Investing around €25,000 a year to remove the shells is therefore not to the management's liking. Financial problems have also affected the club's plans for the stadium. It has been standing unfinished for years and there is no indication that this is likely to change. The only chance for work to resume on a new venue may be if Spain and Valencia are awarded the hosting of the 2030 World Cup.

Mestalla© Jörg Pochert