Qatar Royal Family Clashes With FIFA on Alcohol Sales in World Cup Stadiums


    Qatar Royal Family have reportedly clashed with FIFA ahead of the World Cup on alcohol sale in World Cup stadiums. The face-off is coming with just two days remaining to the kickoff of the tournament.

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    Qatar Royal Family rejects sale of alcohol in World Cup stadiums

    FIFA is said to be under pressure from the Qatar Royal Family to alter their plan to sell beer and other alcohol during the tournament.

    The world football governing body then has to navigate through a dilemma here – if they accept the call to halt the planned attempt to sell alcohol in the tournament, they will breach the contract agreement with Budweiser – one of the top sponsors of the tournament.

    The sale and consumption of alcohol in Qatar are restricted to foreigners, with permission to use it in regulated and monitored conditions.

    There is a license for a few hotels, restaurants, and bars in the Gulf state where these foreigners can take alcohol if they are non-Muslims.

    However, exception on religious grounds is not enough; the non-Muslim communities must also obtain permits even in their homes to be able to use alcohol.

    The contract agreement between FIFA and Budweiser means that the brand can sell alcohol in licensed areas and the eight World Cup stadiums.

    This breaches Qatar’s regulation and control of the use of alcohol, resulting in opposition from the Royal Family.

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    If FIFA yields to pressure and shuts down the plan to sell beers in the eight World Cup stadiums where the tournament will be hosted, Budweiser will lose out, and FIFA will breach contract agreements with the expected consequences.

    However, there is still hope out of the dilemma as a brother of Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has reportedly intervened, making the sale of beer just ‘likely’ but not ‘confirmed.’

    As things stand, World Cup visitors can get their alcohol from licensed restaurants, hotels, stadium concourses, and in fans zones.

    The FIFA and the Qatari Royal Family rift is just one foot of the various flash points of conflict in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup in the Gulf state.

    Days ago, former FIFA President Sepp Blatter admitted wrongdoing and corruption in the bidding process, which saw Qatar win the bid to host the World Cup.

    The embattled former FIFA top executive, who was clear of corruption charged by a Swiss Court, said it was a mistake that Qatar won the 2022 World Cup bid, when it was initially planned to take place in USA after Russia – a world power – hosted it in 2018.

    Meanwhile, some western nations, led by England and Wales are leading the call for Qatar to end all form of discrimination against LGBT communities, with some LGBT World Cup fans scared that they may be targeted by Qatari laws during the World.

    FIFA has sided with Qatar asking FAs to focus on football, while the FAs have insisted on soldering political activism to their World games.

    There are also concerns that Qatar is exploiting foreign migrant workers, particularly slave labor from North Korea, to build its World Cup stadiums.

    While some FAs have called for elaborate compensation plans for migrant workers who toiled in deplorable conditions to build Qatari infrastructure ahead of the tournament, some section of fans called for a boycott of the tournament.


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