World Cup 2022: No alcohol sales permitted at Qatar’s stadium sites, says FIFA

FIFA has made the decision to ban the sale of alcohol to fans at World Cup stadiums in Qatar.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Nov 18, 2022 18:07 IST

Qatar football stadium

No alcohol sales permitted at Qatar’s World Cup stadium sites: FIFA (AFP)

By India Today Web Desk: World football governing body FIFA said in a statement on Friday that alcoholic beer will not be sold at World Cup stadiums in Qatar. Non-alcoholic beer will still be sold at the 64 matches in the country.

“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,” a FIFA spokesperson said in the statement.

Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor owned by AB InBev, was to sell alcoholic beer exclusively within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the eight stadiums three hours before and one hour after each game.

“Tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup,” the statement said. The reversal of that policy comes after long-term negotiations between FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Budweiser, and executives from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which is organising the World Cup, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“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 source was quoted as saying by Reuters. “The thinking was that, for many fans, the presence of alcohol would not create an enjoyable experience.”

Questions have swirled around the role alcohol would play at this year’s World Cup since Qatar won hosting rights in 2010. While not a “dry” state like neighbouring Saudi Arabia, consuming alcohol in public places is illegal in Qatar.

Visitors are not permitted to bring alcohol into Qatar, even from the airport’s duty-free section, and most are not permitted to purchase alcohol from the country’s sole liquor store. Alcohol is sold in some hotel bars, with beer costing around $15 per half-liter.

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