Drinks will now only be available in designated fan zones.
Supporters in Qatar will no longer be able to drink or take alcohol inside the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums. Budweiser, FIFA’s sponsor, will not be permitted to sell drinks in any of the eight stadiums throughout the tournament.
According to FIFA, Budweiser, the only alcoholic beverage provided to spectators at all stadiums due to its sponsorship, will no longer be available to fans. The decision was made in light of Qatar’s strict no-tolerance policy toward alcohol.
Fans will no longer be able to drink within the stadium’s perimeter. FIFA’s statement on the subject: “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.
“They continued to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans. These have been long-term discussions. The overall feeling from everyone involved was that the stadiums need to be for everyone.
“This World Cup is different from others in that a larger number of fans are attending from across the Middle East and South Asia, where alcohol doesn’t play such a large role in the culture. The thinking was that, for many fans, the presence of alcohol would not create an enjoyable experience.
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“The fan zones will be different in that some are clearly designated as alcohol-serving, while others are alcohol-free. Fans can decide where they want to go without feeling uncomfortable. At stadiums, this was previously not the case.”
However, FIFA previously announced that alcohol would be permitted in the stadium three hours before kick-off and one hour after the final whistle. Although it is understandable that Qatar’s culture does not permit the consumption of alcohol, supporters will still be able to consume alcohol in designated fan zones, with Budweiser available for 12 euros per pint. Although this reveals how much control FIFA has over the tournament.
It is said that the beer firm will pay 63 million every four years to be their top-level partner, which might have a significant impact on FIFA. Following the remark, the corporation tweeted, “oh, this is embarrassing,” which was then deleted.
FIFA has come under fire from the Football Supporters Association for disclosing this so late, only two days before the World Cup ceremony “total lack of communication.”
“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 replied:
“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.”