Qatar bans beer from World Cup, two days before tournament starts

November 18, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Fifa has confirmed that the sale of alcohol will be banned at stadiums during the Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

Beer ban

The announcement comes two days before the tournament is set to start.

“Following discussions between host country authorities and Fifa, a decision 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,” Fifa said in its statement.

Budweiser’s sponsorship agreement

The decision could lead to legal action from one of Fifa’s sponsors, Budweiser.  

The alcohol company has a $75m (R1.3bn) sponsorship agreement with Fifa.

In a now deleted tweet, the beer brand posted “well, this is awkward…”.

“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums,” Fifa added in its statement, which will likely be of little comfort to most of the travelling fans in Qatar.

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World Cup organisers had previously promised that alcohol would be sold at stadiums and in fan zones during the tournament.

The U-turn in this decision reportedly came after Fifa was put under pressure from Qatar’s royal family.

Although alcohol isn’t illegal in Qatar, it is strictly controlled by the conservative Muslim nation. Booze cannot be consumed in public.

Despite the ban on alcohol sales, beer, wine and champagne will still be served in the luxury suites inside the stadiums, which are often where prominent guests and Fifa officials sit.

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The latest decision comes after Budweiser was told to move its beer tents to more remote parts of the World Cup stadiums, away from most of the foot traffic.

Buying an alcoholic drink would also have been very expensive for fans, with the price of a beer set at £11 (about R225) or more.

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