In distinction, alcoholic beer is not going to be bought in Qatar’s World Cup stadiums, world soccer governing physique FIFA mentioned in an announcement on Friday.
The announcement comes two days earlier than Sunday’s World Cup, the primary in a conservative Muslim nation with strict controls on alcohol, with public consumption banned.
“Following discussions between host nation authorities and FIFA, it has been determined to take away beer gross sales factors from the perimeter of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadiums and give attention to the sale of alcoholic drinks at FIFA Fan Festivals, different fan locations and licensed venues,” a FIFA spokesperson mentioned in an announcement.
The World Cup’s main sponsor, Budweiser, owned by beer maker AB InBev, was to promote solely alcoholic beer in ticketed perimeters round every of the eight stadiums three hours earlier than and one hour after every sport.
“The match organizers respect AB InBev’s understanding and continued help for our joint dedication to cater for everybody throughout the FIFA World Cup,” the assertion mentioned.
That coverage was reversed after prolonged negotiations between Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Budweiser and officers from World Cup host Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy (SC), a supply with data of the negotiations instructed Reuters. Situation of anonymity.
“Numerous followers are current from the Center East and South Asia, the place alcohol doesn’t play such a giant function within the tradition,” the supply mentioned.
“The thought was that, for a lot of followers, the presence of alcohol wouldn’t make for an pleasant expertise.”
Non-alcoholic beer shall be bought
Champagne, wine, whiskey and different alcohol are nonetheless anticipated to be served within the stadium’s luxurious hospitality areas.
Budweiser will promote its non-alcoholic beer all through the stadium, the assertion mentioned.
Neither Budweiser nor SC responded to a Reuters request for remark.
Ever since Qatar received the internet hosting rights in 2010, questions have been raised about what function alcohol will play on this yr’s World Cup. Whereas not a “dry” state like neighboring Saudi Arabia, consuming in public is illegitimate in Qatar.
Guests can’t convey alcohol into Qatar, even from the airport’s duty-free part and largely from the nation’s solely liquor retailer. Alcohol is bought in bars in some lodges, the place beer prices about $15 US per half liter.
Budweiser will nonetheless promote the alcoholic beer on the primary FIFA fan fest in central Doha, the supply mentioned, the place it’s provided for about $14 US for a half pint. Another fan zones may also promote alcohol, whereas others are alcohol-free.