Qatar Bans Sale of Alcoholic Beer at 2022 World Cup Stadiums

Officials in Qatar are banning the sale of alcoholic beer at all World Cup stadiums just days before the global tournament is set to get underway.

FIFA World Cup logo on Budweiser cans

Image via Getty/PATRICK T. FALLON

FIFA World Cup logo on Budweiser cans

In a stunning about face, officials in Qatar have decided to ban the sale of alcoholic beer at stadiums hosting games for the 2022 World Cup, the New York Times reports.

The Qatari royal family made the request to FIFA, which has a $75 million sponsorship agreement with Budweiser. Alcohol will still be sold in designated areas around the stadiums.

“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 the sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters,” FIFA said in a statement. “There is no impact on the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all of Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.”

FIFA statement doesn’t explain why the decision was last minute, just that it was made to ensure enjoyable experience for all… and there’s always Bud Zero, they say.

— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) November 18, 2022

Budweiser appears to have responded to the organization’s statement, writing, “Well, this is awkward…,” before also deleting their tweet.

FIFA also thanked Budweiser for its owner ABInbev for its understanding and continuous support. Bud’s response speaks for itself

— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) November 18, 2022

Qatar has a zero-tolerance policy for public drinking and being inebriated in a public setting. Prior to this new ban, beer was going to be sold at all eight stadiums for $14 each, and there was going to be a set cap of four beers per order to curb binge drinking.

FIFA and Budweiser have had a partnership since 1985. By limiting the beer company’s visibility during the World Cup, FIFA might be violating its multimillion-dollar contract with Budweiser. At this point, beer, will only be served in hospitality boxes, along with wine and spirits. These luxury suites are costly and often held for FIFA officials and those who can afford them,

Outside of the stadiums, there are five fan zones that are free for patrons throughout Qatar. The zones will have performances, food, alcohol, and additional entertainment, and the games will be streamed on huge screens.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is slated for Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.

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