Sale of alcohol banned at World Cup stadiums

Sale of alcohol banned at World Cup stadiums

THE SALE of alcohol at World Cup stadiums in Qatar has been banned with just two days to go before the tournament begins.

Fans will no longer be able to buy Budweiser which would have been the only alcoholic beverage available to fans due to a sponsorship deal with FIFA.

Now only corporate spectators will be able to consume alcohol within the stadium and its perimeters.

FIFA released a statement confirming the removal of sales points of beer from the stadium perimeters "following discussions between the host country authorities and FIFA".

"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 understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022."

It is understood Qatar, as hosts, are concerned about the impact of alcohol sales on fans for whom drinking is not part of the culture - not just Qataris but people from other parts of the Middle East and Asia more widely.

Supporters will still be able to consume alcohol in designated fan zones.

Budweiser is reported to pay FIFA $75m (€72.3m) every four years to be one of its top-level partners.

A now removed tweet from the beer company read: "Well, this is awkward."

The Football Supporters' Association said the real issue "is that last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem - the total lack of communication and clarity from the organising committee towards supporters."

"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."