November 18 – In a last-minute u-turn by World Cup organisers and FIFA, alcohol will not be sold at the eight stadiums in Qatar.
While alcohol is generally only available in up-market hotels in Qatar, dispensation had been made to sell alcohol to fans “in select areas within stadiums”.
Brewer Budweiser, a major sponsor of FIFA, was planning to have concessions where up to two cans of beer could be bought per order. Alcohol will still be available in corporate areas of stadiums.
Instead fans who want to drink with other fans in a traditional football atmosphere will have to make their way the FanFest at Al Bidda Park where the plan is, currently, still for beer to be sold.
A FIFA statement said: “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.”
“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 fan.
“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.”
Quite how understanding AB InBev will be over their high priced but now very emaciated sponsorship of FIFA, remains to be seen.
Everyone is welcome in Qatar, so long as they don’t want to have a drink at football or hold hands wrapped in a rainbow flag. The world is getting the message. What other promises are set to be broken by these most welcoming anti-racist, anti-discrimination hosts of the world’s game (not theirs, the world’s)?
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