The Union Democrat
Qatar to enforce beer ban around World Cup stadiums in 11th hour decison
Qatar will enforce an alcoholic beer ban at World Cup stadiums and surrounding areas during the time it hosts the tournament, football governing body FIFA said on Friday.
“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,” FIFA said in a statement just two days ahead of the opening match.
Non-alcoholic beer will remain available at the stadiums, FIFA said.
“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 federation said.
Previously, there was reportedly an agreement to allow beer sales in areas between the security check and the ticket check at the venues as beer company Budweiser is one of the major sponsors of the tournament.
The U.S. company is yet to make a statement on the matter. Right after FIFA’S announcement, it said on Twitter: “Well, this is awkward,” but the post has been already deleted.
In its statement, FIFA stressed the the World Cup organizers appreciated the “understanding and continuous support” from Budweiser’s parent company AB Inbev.
Alcohol is not prohibited in Qatar, but its sale is restricted to bars and restaurants in some hotels.
The decision comes amid reports that the Qatari Royal Family made a direct request to FIFA for Budweiser to move beer tents away from stadiums to less prominent locations due to concerns over the impact of such visible drinking on local people.