Qatar World Cup: Beer sales banned at all game venues, FIFA confirms

Doha, Qatar — The sale of all alcohol at the eight stadiums used for soccer’s World Cup match in Qatar has been banned, the game’s worldwide governing physique FIFA said on Friday, simply two days earlier than the video games start. The group stated in an announcement that the choice to ban alcohol sales got here “following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA.” 

The last-minute change in plans will see alcoholic drinks banned from the “FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.”

Non-alcoholic beer will nonetheless be obtainable for followers at the 64 matches.

Budweiser’s dad or mum company, AB InBev, pays tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} at every World Cup for unique rights to promote beer. The company’s partnership with FIFA began at the 1986 match.

As information of the ban broke on Friday, a put up briefly appeared on Budweiser’s official Twitter account, studying: “Well, this is awkward.” The put up was eliminated not lengthy after.

When Qatar — a conservative Muslim nation the place alcohol and homosexuality are each typically unlawful — launched its bid to host the World Cup, the nation agreed to respect FIFA’s business companions, and once more when signing contracts after successful the vote in 2010.

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the host nation was pressured to alter a regulation to permit alcohol sales in stadiums.

AB InBev’s take care of FIFA was renewed in 2011 — after Qatar was controversially picked as host — in a two-tournament package deal via 2022. However, the Belgium-based brewer has confronted uncertainty in latest months on the precise particulars of the place it could possibly serve and promote beer in Qatar. 

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An settlement was introduced in September for beer with alcohol to be bought inside the stadium perimeters earlier than and after video games. Only alcohol-free Bud Zero can be bought within the stadium concourses for followers to drink of their seats in branded cups.
Last weekend, AB InBev was left shocked by a brand new coverage insisted on by Qatari organizers to maneuver beer stalls to much less seen areas inside the perimeter.
Budweiser was additionally to be bought within the evenings solely at the official FIFA fan zone in downtown Al Bidda Park, the place as much as 40,000 followers can collect to look at video games on big screens. The worth was confirmed as $14 for a beer.
Ab InBev didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The company shall be based mostly at an upscale lodge within the West Bay space of Doha with its personal branded nightclub for the match.

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