Qatar bans sale of beer & alcohol at World Cup stadiums


FIFA has performed a U-turn on its decision to sell beer at World Cup stadiums for the 2022 tournament in Qatar, with alcoholic beverages now not available to fans on the grounds.

With Qatar being a Muslim nation, the sale of alcohol is strictly controlled and limited to hotel bars and restaurants away from street view, but Budweiser was given the correct to supply beer for the World Cup.

Organizers of the 2022 World Cup had initially stated their desire to serve alcohol inside “select areas” at stadiums, but that policy has now been reversed just two days before the beginning of the tournament.

An announcement from FIFA confirmed that beer and other alcoholic drinks would still be available in fan zones, but supporters attending games at stadiums – aside from those corporate areas – cannot purchase such beverages.

“Following discussions between host country authorities and Fifa, a call has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the Fifa fan festival, other fan destinations, and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s Fifa World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters,” the statement read.

“There isn’t any impact on the sale of Bud Zero which can remain available in any respect of Qatar’s World Cup stadiums. Host country authorities and Fifa will proceed to be sure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful, and nice experience for all fans.

“The tournament organizers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continued support to our joint commitment to cater for everybody through the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022.”

#QatarWorldCup2022 #ToBeerOrNotToBeer

— The FSA (@WeAreTheFSA) November 18, 2022A report from Sky News states that Qatar’s Al Thani royal family was the leading figure in the choice to ban alcohol from stadiums, and fans will only find a way to buy beer in specific fan zones after 6.30 pm.

Budweiser has been outstanding sponsors of FIFA and was subsequently granted exclusive rights for the sale of beer on the winter tournament, but the connection between the 2 parties has seemingly been damaged.

A tweet sent out from the official Budweiser Twitter account stated: “Well, that is awkward…” within the wake of the policy change, however the post was quickly deleted.

The late U-turn has led to criticism from the Football Supporters Association (FSA), which has hit out at a “lack of communication” from the organizers.

An announcement on social media read: “Some fans like a beer at a game and a few don’t, but the actual issue is the last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem – the full lack of communication and clarity from the organizing committee towards supporters,

“In the event that they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters can have comprehensible concerns about whether they are going to fulfill other guarantees regarding accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”

The 2022 World Cup begins on Sunday on the Al Bayt Stadium, with hosts Qatar taking over Ecuador of their inaugural game in Group A.

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