Qatar bans beer sales at FIFA World Cup : DOHA, Qatar – Two days before the start of the world’s biggest sporting event, FIFA announced that eight Qatar World Cup stadiums will ban the sale of beer.
Qatar bans beer sales at FIFA World Cup : FIFA said in a statement that the decision was made after discussions between the host country’s authorities and FIFA.
Sales are still allowed at fan events in licensed venues and in the stadium’s luxury suites, which also offer liquor, wine and 2022 World Cup champagne.
Qatar bans beer sales at FIFA World Cup : FIFA said the decision ensures that “stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and enjoyable experience for all fans”.
Qatar, an energy-rich nation of the Persian Gulf that practices a conservative form of Islam known as Wahhabism, strictly controls the sale of alcohol. Public consumption of alcohol is only allowed in certain hotels and restaurants.
Qatar bans beer sales at FIFA World Cup : The sale of alcohol in stadiums is a long-standing negotiation between Qatar and FIFA, which will host the World Cup in the Middle East for the first time since the tournament began in 1930.
Qatar initially agreed to allow beer sales when it won the bid to host the games in 2010, and reaffirmed that commitment when it signed the deal.
In September, Qatar and FIFA reached an agreement to allow beer sales in stadiums, but not in concession stands. The policy was tightened last week, moving alcohol displays to even less visible locations on the edges of the stadium, meaning many fans would have to leave the event to make a purchase.
The decision to ban alcohol sales worries fans and commentators that FIFA is not fully in control of its signature event, especially since the soccer body forced fellow host nation Brazil to change its national laws on stadium alcohol sales in 2014.
Budweiser paid tens of millions of dollars for the right to be an official alcohol sponsor at World Cup events.
According to the Associated Press, the company, a long-term partner of FIFA, is currently in negotiations to extend its contract for the next World Cup.
“Well, it’s awkward,” Budweiser wrote in a tweet that was quickly deleted.
FIFA says Budweiser’s non-alcoholic Bud Zero will continue to be available at all World Cup stadiums.