BREAKING: Beer Banned At 2022 World Cup Stadiums In Qatar
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that Beer Banned At 2022 World Cup Stadiums In Qatar
Alcohol will not be sold at the 2022 World Cup’s eight stadiums in Qatar after the football governing body, FIFA changed its policy two days before the start of the tournament.
FIFA had been under pressure to ban all alcohol sales at World Cup stadiums just days before the tournament kicks off.
The host nation, where alcohol sales are typically restricted to foreigners drinking in licenced hotels and restaurants, or non-Muslim residents with special permits in their homes – had put significant pressure on FIFA to stop selling beer at the eight World Cup stadiums.
The Qatari royal family had made their feelings clear on the issue.
They wanted FIFA to stop selling Budweiser, one of the organisation’s biggest sponsors, at eight different stadiums, which would be in breach of a multi-million-dollar contract, if the U-turn goes ahead.
Meanwhile, alcohol was set to be served “in select areas within stadiums”, despite its sale being strictly controlled in the Muslim country.
However, those in corporate areas of stadiums at the tournament will still be able to purchase alcohol, BBC reports.
The World Cup starts on Sunday when Qatar play Ecuador.
Budweiser, a major sponsor of FIFA, is owned by beer maker AB InBev and had exclusive rights to sell beer at the World Cup.
“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,” said a statement from world football’s governing body.
“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.
“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 understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
Budweiser posted a message on Twitter on Friday saying, “Well, this is awkward” before the post was later deleted.
The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) criticised the timing of the decision to ban the sale of beer for most fans.
“Some fans like a beer at a game and some don’t, but the real issue is the last-minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem – the total lack of communication and clarity from the organising committee towards supporters,” said an FSA spokesperson.
“If they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about whether they will fulfil other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”
In August, FIFA changed the start date of the World Cup so that the first game of the competition would be Qatar facing Ecuador.