It’s pretty clear that the second biggest sport at the World Cup soccer games is drinking beer. But now in a shocking reversal by Qatar’s royal family, beer has been banned altogether from all eight World Cup stadiums in the predominantly Muslim country.
This is a disaster with the games just two days away…
As was first reported by British newspaper The Times, “FIFA and Qatari organizers were engaged in late negotiations over whether beer would be sold at the stadiums during the tournament, which begins on Sunday.”
This from FIFA…
“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 the sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA 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.”
“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 organizers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
“The World Cup was awarded to Qatar back in 2010,” reports ESPN “but despite the competition starting in two days, the situation around the sale of beer is just one of several last-minute adjustments occurring in Qatar.”
The UK’s Football Supporters’ Association responded with the following statement…
“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 organizing committee towards supporters.”
“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 fulfill other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”
It now seems likely that the only places where alcohol will be served in stadiums is hospitality suites, for which prices start at $22,450.”
One of FIFA’s biggest sponsors, Budweiser was awarded the exclusive rights to sell beer at World Cup matches. And we await a statement from them.