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World Cup 2022: Alcohol sales banned at World Cup stadiums in Qatar

Qatar as host nation Dates: 20-23 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV and BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Sounds, and the BBC Sport website. Day-by-day TV listings – Full coverage details


Fans will not be able to purchase alcohol at World Cup stadiums in Qatar. This is after Fifa changed their policy just two days before the tournament began.


Participants in corporate areas at the tournament can still purchase alcohol.


Sunday’s World Cup begins with Ecuador playing Qatar.


Budweiser was a major sponsor for Fifa. AB InBev owns the exclusive rights to sell beer at World Cup.

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A statement from the governing body of world football said that after discussions with Fifa and the authorities of the host country, it was decided to concentrate the sale of alcohol beverages on Fifa fan festivals, other fan destinations, licensed venues, and removing beer sales points from Qatar’s Fifa World Cup stadium perimeters.


“There are no adverse effects on the sale of Bud Zero, which will continue to be available at all Qatar World Cup stadiums.


“Host countries authorities and Fifa will continue ensuring that all fans have a pleasant, respectful and enjoyable experience at the stadiums.


“The tournament organisers are grateful to AB InBev for their understanding and continued support of our joint commitment to catering for everyone during Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022. ”


Budweiser posted on Twitter on Friday a message saying “Well, that’s awkward”, before it was deleted later.


A spokesperson for AB InBev stated that they were unable to proceed with “some of our planned stadium activations” due to “circumstances beyond their control”.


The Football Supporters Association (FSA), criticised the timing for the decision to ban beer sales for most football fans.


“Some fans enjoy a beer at a match, while others don’t.” However, the problem isn’t the beer. It is the last-minute U-turn that speaks to a larger problem: the complete lack of communication with supporters from the organizing committee.



A spokesperson for the FSA said so.

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“If they are able to change their mind at any moment, without explanation, supporters will be concerned about whether or not they will fulfill other promises related to accommodation, transport, and cultural issues. ”


Ryan, an Arsenal fan and England fan, expressed concern over Qatar’s late change. BBC Sport spoke to him: “It’s certainly not ideal, but I believe there will be other places to drink.” It’s football, and it’s part of the culture to have a drink with your friends. But there’s no need to be bitter about it.


They had 12 years to organize it, and I don’t think it bodes well for them to make so many last-minute changes. We fans have to move on. ”


Fifa changed August’s start date for the World Cup to be Qatar against Ecuador.


The third match was to be played on November 21st, with Senegal against Netherlands being the opening match.


Analyse


Shaimaa Khalil, BBC News, Doha


The World Cup’s contradictions are exemplified by the last-minute alcohol ban.


Qatar is a tiny, wealthy Muslim country in the middle East with big ambitions to become a serious broker in the sport world.


Qatari citizens will see this ban on alcohol sales as their leadership adhering to the Islamic rules.


There are questions about Fifa’s inability to insist that Qatar adhere to the plan and about consistency.


Brazil changed its laws regarding alcohol sales at matches for the 2014 World Cup.


Although drinking isn’t the primary reason people travel here, it is a part of the football culture.


It is also symbolic of Qatar’s fine line: Presenting itself as an open-minded, welcoming country on one of the most important stages in the world while still retaining its cultural, religious, and conservative integrity.



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