Connect with us

Sports

World Cup 2022: Qatar bans alcoholic beer in and around World Cup stadiums

The ban means that the compromise of selling beer outside of stadiums but not in them is no more.

News Agencies

Published

on

DOHA — Alcoholic beer will not be sold in and around World Cup stadiums after all, according to a Friday announcement from organizers that represents a stunning reversal two days before the tournament.

Qatari authorities appear to have overruled FIFA, soccer’s global governing body and owner of the World Cup; and Budweiser, a longtime FIFA sponsor.

For months, FIFA, Budweiser and Qatar, the 2022 World Cup’s controversial host nation, seemed to have found a middle-ground agreement that alcoholic beer would be sold within stadium compounds, around the perimeter of the arenas, but not in concourses. The agreement mollified FIFA, which has allowed beer at World Cups for decades; and Qatar, a majority-Muslim country where, as Qatari World Cup organizing committee CEO Nasser Al Khater has said, “alcohol is not part of our culture.”

Last week, however, Qatari government officials reportedly began to push back. They first demanded that outdoor beer tents be moved to less visible locations — a demand with which FIFA and organizers seemingly complied. The request, conveyed by the government-adjacent organizing committee, reportedly came from the Qatari royal family.

Then, with less than a week to go, Qatari officials pushed a step further. FIFA said in a statement that the decision to “remov[e] sales points of beer from … stadium perimeters” had been made “following discussion between host country authorities and FIFA.”

The ban could force FIFA to modify its lucrative contract with Budweiser. FIFA said that it “appreciate[d]” the “understanding and continuous support” from AB InBev, Budweiser’s parent company.

“Well, this is awkward…” Budweiser said in a since-deleted tweet Friday.

Budweiser deleted this tweet made after Qatar totally banned beer at the World Cup.

Budweiser deleted this tweet made after Qatar totally banned beer at the World Cup.

The ban will also anger many Western fans, some of whom see alcohol as part of soccer supporter culture. They will still be able to drink at FIFA’s official fan festival and at a couple hundred hotels in and around Doha. Only non-alcoholic beer will be available at stadiums, though.

Public consumption of alcohol and public intoxication are both illegal in Qatar. Beer is sold almost exclusively at bars and restaurants within hotels, the only venues in the country that receive alcohol licenses. One American fan created a map of roughly 200 bars, clubs and restaurants that serve. The map, which organizers are aware of but cannot promote, has spread organically to tens of thousands of people, and perhaps soon hundreds of thousands, as almost 1 million fans in total prepare to descend on Doha.

Ads for Budweiser are seen at a hotel hosting a major bar for the beermaker in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. World Cup organizers will ban the sale of all beer with alcohol at the eight stadiums used for the soccer tournament, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Friday. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

Budweiser is the official beer sponsor of the World Cup. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

FIFA has often had to work with local officials to modify local alcohol restrictions, to accommodate Budweiser, one of its top partners. There have been various restrictions at past World Cups. But a full-fledged ban at stadiums is, in the modern era, unprecedented.

It also suggests that FIFA, with 48 hours to go, after 12 years of planning, does not have full control over its own tournament. The push-and-pull with Qatar, which had promised that alcohol would be available, has worried other fans, including an LGBTQ community that has been promised it will be safe despite Qatar’s criminalization of homosexuality.

“Some fans like a beer at the match, 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 organizing committee towards supporters” the Football Supporters’ Association, an umbrella fan group, said in a statement.

“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.”

It is unclear who, exactly, is making decisions or how they are being made. FIFA president Gianni Infantino is scheduled to speak at a press conference on Saturday, for the first time in a month.

The tournament begins Sunday with Qatar against Ecuador at 7 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET, FS1/Telemundo).

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Breaking News

Advertisement

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Entertainment3 hours ago

‘The Voice’ frontrunner gets eliminated while in COVID lockdown: ‘I can’t believe you’re in a box still’

Bottom three Rowan Grace and Kim Cruse await their fate, while Kiqué waits in COVID lockdown, on ‘The Voice’ Season...

Entertainment6 hours ago

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West finally settle divorce, rapper will pay $200K a month in child support

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West finally settle divorce. (Photo: Reuters) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have finally settled their divorce,...

Entertainment8 hours ago

Mamma mia! The Super Mario Bros. Movie trailer reveals Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong, Anya Taylor-Joy’s Peach

   So far, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has introduced audiences to Chris Pratt as the titular mustachioed Italian, Charlie...

Entertainment9 hours ago

Country singer Jake Flint, 37, dies unexpectedly just hours after his wedding

Country singer Jake Flint has died at age 37. (Photo: YouTube) Oklahoma country music artist Jake Flint died unexpectedly over...

Entertainment10 hours ago

‘Easy Rider’ Reboot in the Works: Rights Holders to Update Dennis Hopper-Peter Fonda Classic (EXCLUSIVE)

A reimagining of the classic 1969 counterculture film “Easy Rider” is in early development, Variety has learned exclusively. A consortium...

Entertainment11 hours ago

Steve Martin & Martin Short, Austin Butler to Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in December

Steve Martin and Martin Short are set to co-host “Saturday Night Live” in December, with “Elvis” star Austin Butler also...

Entertainment11 hours ago

Amy Grant says bicycle accident gave her an opportunity to reflect on her life: ‘That’s a gift for anybody’

Amy Grant, pictured in 2021 in Nashville. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ACM) Just four months ago, Amy Grant was...

Entertainment12 hours ago

Joe Pesci reveals that he had sustained ‘serious burns’ while shooting ‘Home Alone 2’

Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci as the Wet Bandits in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. (Photo: 20th Century...

Latest Sports

Sports1 hour ago

Louisville and Cal both fall to 0-7, simultaneously post worst starts in major conference history

What if Louisville and Cal just played each other for the rest of the season?

Sports1 hour ago

Luke Fickell & Hugh Freeze find new jobs, reacting to the latest College Football Playoff rankings & where does Coach Prime end up?

Dan Wetzel, SI’s Pat Forde & SI’s Ross Dellenger break down all of the biggest college football hires along with...

Sports2 hours ago

Aaron Judge free agency buzz: Slugger could be nearing decision on where to sign

Here is the latest buzz surrounding Yankees star Aaron Judge's free agency...

Sports2 hours ago

World Cup scores, updates: Denmark vs. Australia, France vs. Tunisia, Mexico vs. Saudi Arabia, Poland vs. Argentina

What does Lionel Messi have in store on Wednesday? Argentina can advance to the knockout rounds of the World Cup...

Sports3 hours ago

World Cup 2022: The win-and-advance scenario is simple for the USMNT on Tuesday

The United States is on to the knockout rounds with a win over Iran.

Sports3 hours ago

Revealed: The proof that Cristiano Ronaldo did not touch the ball

It seemed like quintessential Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portugal captain ghosted between Uruguay defenders to get the faintest of headers...

Sports3 hours ago

Boxing ref admits he cheated for Manny Pacquiao during win in 2000, opponent responds

Manny Pacquiao got plenty of time after a fourth-round knockdown against Nedal Hussein.

Sports4 hours ago

Goal was just as Pulisic envisioned it … almost

Christian Pulisic called his shot, then scored one of the biggest goals in USMNT history vs. Iran in the World...

Technology Hot News

Is Elon Musk Really Going to Buy Twitter? Is Elon Musk Really Going to Buy Twitter?
Technology1 month ago

Is Elon Musk Really Going to Buy Twitter?

Elon Musk, the owner of the electric car company Tesla, CEO of SpaceX, and the richest man in the world,...

WhatsApp services were affected across Pakistan, restored after 2 hours WhatsApp services were affected across Pakistan, restored after 2 hours
Technology1 month ago

WhatsApp services were affected across Pakistan, restored after 2 hours

WhatsApp services were affected in various countries of the world, including Pakistan, and India due to this users were facing...

Bitcoin vs Litecoin: A guide to understanding cryptocurrencies Bitcoin vs Litecoin: A guide to understanding cryptocurrencies
Technology2 months ago

Bitcoin vs Litecoin: A guide to understanding cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies currently occupy an odd place in society. They are no longer the super niche bizarre currency beloved by tech...

Personal data of people is selling on Google Play and Google Ads Personal data of people is selling on Google Play and Google Ads
Editor Picks3 months ago

Personal data of people are sold on Google Play and Google Ads

It’s been two to three years since Google has been unknowingly hosting multiple apps from malicious actors who sell personal...

Protonmail is down a second time in the past 24 hours Protonmail is down a second time in the past 24 hours
Technology5 months ago

Protonmail is down a second time in the past 24 hours

An end-to-end encrypted email service Protonmail is down a second time in the past 24 hours, netizens reported on social...

What's better for the student: a tablet or a laptop What's better for the student: a tablet or a laptop
Technology6 months ago

What’s better for the student: a tablet or a laptop

Some analysts argue that computers have outlived their usefulness. There is some truth in this: PC and laptop sales are...

Tesla founder Elon Musk holds the Twitter deal temporary Tesla founder Elon Musk holds the Twitter deal temporary
Technology7 months ago

Tesla founder Elon Musk holds the Twitter deal temporary

USA: Elon Musk, the founder of companies like Tesla and SpaceX, can actually buy anything in the world. Last month,...

How Zafar Supari is utilizing his ability on Snapchat? How Zafar Supari is utilizing his ability on Snapchat?
Technology7 months ago

How Zafar Supari is utilizing his ability on Snapchat?

Pakistan: Zafar Supari a public figure, businessman, and social media sensation has crossed one hundred thirty-three thousand 133k subscribers on...