World Cup organisers say beer not sold at stadium sites in Qatar | Qatar World Cup 2022 News

November 18, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Alcohol will still be available to those in hospitality areas and also at the FIFA Fan Festival in central Doha.

Football World Cup organisers have announced that alcoholic drinks will not be offered for sale at stadium sites in Qatar, just two days before the event starts.

The decision on Friday was a reversal of the original plan for major tournament sponsor Budweiser to sell beer around the eight sites, within the ticketing perimeter.

The new policy means only non-alcoholic beer will be sold at the venues. Alcohol including champagne and whisky will still be available to those in hospitality areas, and beer will be on tap at the FIFA Fan Festival in central Doha.

In a statement, a spokesperson for world football’s governing body FIFA said the decision was taken following discussions with Qatari authorities.

“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans,” read the statement.

Budweiser’s parent company, AB InBev, pays tens of millions of dollars to FIFA at each World Cup for exclusive rights to sell beer. Under the previous policy, it was to sell alcoholic beer within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the stadiums three hours before and one hour after each game.

Reports said the company, one of the world’s largest brewers, has already shipped the majority of its stock from Britain to Qatar in expectation of selling its product to fans.

“Tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup,” the statement said.

The company’s partnership with FIFA started at the 1986 tournament and they are in negotiations for renewing their deal for the next World Cup, in North America.

Some restrictions on alcohol sales in stadiums are not unusual. In the English Premier League, for example, beer can be sold in football grounds, but must be consumed in specific areas and not taken within view of the pitch. In Brazil, beer sales were banned in stadiums in 2003, though the law was changed when the country hosted the World Cup in 2014. France’s Ligue 1 also does not allow alcohol inside stadiums.

This year’s World Cup, the first to be held in the Middle East, kicks off on Sunday, with Qatar facing Ecuador.