2022 World Cup: Qatar makes u-turn, bans alcohol at stadiums

Qatar, made a late reversal and banned the sale of alcohol around stadiums during the 2022 World Cup.

2022 World Cup Qatar

The organisers were engaged in late negotiations over whether beer would be sold at the stadia during the tournament, which begins on Sunday.

“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,” FIFA said in a statement.

While fans can purchase alcohol at the official fan zones during the competition, the sale of beer at the matches themselves has been a controversial topic.

It appeared an agreement was originally struck to allow FIFA to permit sponsors Budweiser to sell beer at the stadiums. This was then further clarified in the buildup to the tournament after The New York Times first reported that the beer tents would be less visible at the grounds on request of the hosts.

But it emerged there was late pressure on FIFA to halt sales of alcohol at the stadiums themselves, two days before hosts Qatar kick off the tournament on Sunday against Ecuador.

“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums,” FIFA 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 understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”

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