June 17, 2024

World Cup: Qatar bans sales, consumption of beers at stadiums

Qatar has banned sales and consumption of alcohol at stadiums during the FIFA World Cup.

This was confirmed by FIFA in a statement on Friday afternoon.

“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 World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.

“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero, which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums,” FIFA said in a statement.

It added, “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.

“The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s [the brewer of Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch InBev] understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022.”

However football’s governing body will now be looking nervously over its shoulders at the prospect of legal action from Budweiser, which has a $75m (£63m) sponsorship agreement with Fifa, and is likely to regard this as a major breach of contract.

The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation, but organisers had promised that it would be available in match venues and in fan zones – and that it would also be reasonable priced.

However it has now decided that alcohol will be available at matches only in hospitality boxes, where the cheapest suites are nearly £20,000 a match, and some fan zones after 7pm, where it will cost nearly £12 for 500ml of Budweiser.

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