Rugby fans will be able to buy alcohol at international matches at Murrayfield after Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced yesterday that a 25-year-old ban on its sale is to be lifted.

The move, which will mean spectators can enjoy wine, beer and spirits at senior men's international rugby matches there, has triggered a demand for equal treatment for football.

Scottish Premier League teams are now set to approach the Scottish Executive to ask for the ban on selling drink at club matches to also be lifted.

Ian Blair, operations director and company secretary of the SPL, said the top 12 clubs would be meeting at Hampden Park within the next few weeks to discuss a joint approach to the executive.

Mr Blair said: "We are just asking for fair treatment for football. There has been great strides made in Scottish football over the past 25 years or so since the alcohol ban was introduced.

"In England you can buy alcohol in the concourse of football grounds, so why not in Scotland? We have all-seated stadia and good stewarding and I feel the time is right for a pilot project to be brought forward to sell alcohol at Scottish football matches."

A spokesman for the Scottish Football Association said there was no firm consensus on whether they were for, or against, selling alcohol during international matches, and no meeting to discuss the matter was planned.

Mr MacAskill, an avid member of the Tartan Army, said he had an open mind on the subject but made it clear it would be foolish for him to ignore concerns from senior police officers about the problems that selling alcohol at football matches could create.

"It is a bit premature to be discussing whether alcohol would ever be sold at football matches as I have no applications for such a thing to happen in front of me at present," said Mr MacAskill.

"Football still has a distance to travel on this matter but I am not ruling anything in, or anything out."

He said the decision to lift the alcohol ban at Murrayfield had come after representations from the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), which wants to sell drink at World Cup matches against Romania and New Zealand later this year. It will now be up to Edinburgh City Licensing Board to consider any application that the SRU puts forward.

"This is not a licence to binge drink, to go to the rugby and get drunk," said Mr MacAskill.

"The fans simply can't understand why they can have a drink at Twickenham and at Millennium Stadium and at some rugby games and not others."

The Tories said they wanted to see the ban lifted at football grounds. Chief whip and Edinburgh Pentlands MSP David McLetchie said: "I hope this will lead to the eventual lifting of the ban in Scotland's football grounds as well. It's time we treated fans like adults."

The catalyst for change on licensing was trouble at the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Rangers in 1980, which was largely attributed to the amount of alcohol consumed by spectators.

In response, the Scottish Office banned alcohol at football matches, but excluded Murrayfield from the original draft legislation. However, in 1982, acting on police advice, the SRU voluntarily asked the home of Scottish rugby to be included in the ban.

In 2004, the legislation was amended to only encompass banning the sale of alcohol at senior men's international rugby matches but allowing drink to be sold at other representative games.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Gordon McKie said he was delighted at the ban being lifted, which he felt could lead to a major financial shot in the arm for the sport.

It is estimated that about £180,000 could be raised per match from alcohol sales with a percentage of that going back into the sport. There could also be major spin-off sponsorship deals for the SRU with beer, wine and spirit companies becoming interested in putting money into the sport.