FIFA has changed its policy on the sale of alcohol at World Cup 2022 two days before the tournament kicks off on Sunday 20 November, meaning beer, wine and spirits can no longer be sold at the eight host stadiums.
Originally, FIFA had designated specific areas within stadiums where alcohol could be sold and consumed due to the strict control Qatar imposes on its sale, but now it is completely prohibited for the regular match goer. However, people in corporate areas of will still be able to buy alcohol.
Alcohol will still be available in specific fan zones, though, with restrictions on the amount of drinks allowed per person as well as the time of day alcohol is available. Licenced hotels and restaurants in the country can still serve alcohol as normal.
Football’s governing body stated: “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.
“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.
“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.”
With Qatari officials agreeing to respect FIFA’s commercial partners upon signing contracts after winning the rights to host the World Cup, there could well be a legal battle due to this decision. Indeed, Budweiser had exclusive rights to sell beer at the World Cup, in a sponsorship deal thought to be worth €75 million.
On Friday, the company tweeted: “Well, this is awkward”, before later deleting the post.
(Image credit: Budweiser / Twitter)
Originally, all eight stadia for the tournament had Budweiser-branded beer stations, but had to be moved to less prominent locations. However, they have now been completed removed from the stadium concourses.
Fans can still purchase the alcohol-free Budweiser Zero inside stadiums.
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