World Cup 2022: FIFA Confirms Ban Of Alcohol Around The Stadiums In Qatar

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World Cup 2022: FIFA has announced that fans won’t be able to purchase alcohol near the tournament’s venues in Qatar.

World Cup 2022: Fans Banned From Buying Alcohol Around The Stadium In Qatar

Budweiser, which had been the only alcoholic beverage offered to spectators at stadium locations as a result of its sponsorship of FIFA, will no longer be accessible.

Just two days before the first match begins, FIFA made the decision that no one attending matches will be permitted to consume alcohol inside the stadiums’ perimeters.

In a statement, FIFA 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 fans.”

“The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s [drinks and Brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev] understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”

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The Budweiser brand will be sold at stadium perimeters starting three hours prior to kickoff and continuing for one hour following the game’s conclusion, according to World Cup organizers.

It is thought that Qatar is worried about how alcohol sales may affect supporters — not just Middle Easterners and Asians in general, but also those from other regions of the Middle East and Asia — for whom drinking is not part of their culture.

In authorized fan zones, fans can still drink alcohol; a pint of Budweiser will cost £12 there. However, the event calls into question how much control FIFA actually has over the competition.

Budweiser, one of its sponsors, will be dissatisfied. It would be fascinating to watch how the brewing company’s reported £63 million payment to FIFA every four years as one of its top partners affects the business arrangement.

On Friday, the business tweeted from its main account: “Well, this is awkward” – a post which was then deleted.”

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The decision was made too late, and the Football Supporters’ Association criticized the event organizers for their “total lack of communication.”

World Cup 2022: Fans Banned From Buying Alcohol Around The Stadium In Qatar

“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 organising committee towards supporters,” a spokesman lamented.

“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 fulfil other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”

Why Did Qatar Ban Alcohol From The 2022 World Cup?

The country believes that many of the fans coming from Asian and Gulf nations, where consuming alcohol is not common, will be attending this tournament.

While there are certain alcohol-free fan zones in Doha, it might be difficult to avoid drunk people in a stadium.

However, it is unclear why they made this choice now rather than twelve years ago, when they were awarded the opportunity to host the World Cup. Up until recently, organizers have consistently pledged to find a compromise between the preferences of western fans and Qatar’s traditional culture.

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The Supreme Committee’s chief of communications, Fatma al-Nuaimi, most recently reaffirmed this statement, saying: “When it comes to alcohol, hospitality is part of our culture, even if alcohol is not. There will be designated areas where drinks will be served, especially the fan zones. So it will be in the places where the fans will gather, but not openly on the streets.”

In addition, “ticket holders will have access to Budweiser, Budweiser Zero, and Coca-Cola products within the stadium perimeter” for at least three hours prior to games and for one hour following them, according to the organization’s official fan guide.

Ever since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, alcohol has given the country headaches. The conservative Arab Gulf nation severely restricts both the sale and usage of alcohol.

However, FIFA has a history of defending its business interests, and since the 1986 tournament in Mexico, Budweiser has been one of FIFA’s most prominent sponsors, making drinking an integral element of the quadrennial celebrations almost as much as the sport itself.

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