The world’s soccer governing body FIFA announced that alcoholic beer will not be served inside Qatar’s World Cup stadiums on Friday. This abrupt change of heart aroused concerns among some fans about the host nation’s capacity to keep its word to its supporters. The first match of the World Cup is on Sunday, so the announcement comes just in time. This is the first World Cup to be staged in a devout Muslim nation with strict alcohol consumption laws. Following discussions between FIFA and host country officials, it has been decided to restrict alcohol sales to the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations, and licenced venues. Beer sales will no longer be permitted inside the FIFA World Cup stadiums in Qatar in 2022.
The decision, according to the English Football Supporters’ Association, raises questions about Qatar’s capacity to keep its pledges to travelling spectators Issues with lodging, transportation, or culture. The tournament’s organisers in Qatar have promised for years that supporters would have easy access to alcohol during the competition. The true problem, according to the organisation in a statement on Twitter, is the last-minute U-turn that speaks to a larger issue: the complete lack of communication and transparency from the organising committee towards supporters. Some fans enjoy beer at games, while others don’t.
More than a third of the 3 million people who live in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, the smallest nation to host a World Cup, are expected to attend the month-long competition. Three hours before and one hour after each game, Budweiser, a key World Cup sponsor owned by the brewer AB InBev, The only alcoholic beer offered inside the ticketed area around each of the eight stadiums would be that one. According to an AB InBev statement, some of the scheduled stadium activations are unable to proceed owing to reasons beyond our control.
Since 1985, the year the World Cup was hosted in Mexico, Budweiser has been a World Cup sponsor. With activities for Budweiser and other brands in more than 70 regions and at 1.2 million bars, restaurants, and retail locations, it has started its largest-ever campaign for 2022. Beer consumption normally increases during the World Cup, and the Belgian company that produces Stella Artois and Corona clearly wants to earn money off the millions of dollars it spends to be a sponsor. The FIFA World Cup organisers are grateful to AB InBev for its understanding and ongoing support of our shared commitment to provide for everyone’s needs.
Since alcohol is less prevalent in these regions’ cultures, there are more Middle Eastern and South Asian attendees. The assumption was that the presence of alcohol would not make for a good experience for many fans. The VIP suites inside the stadium, which according to FIFA’s website provide a variety of beers, Champagne, sommelier-selected wines, and premium spirits, will continue to serve alcohol without restriction. For $8.25 per half-litre, Budweiser will offer its non-alcoholic beer inside the stadium grounds. It has been a source of concern ever since Qatar was selected as host in 2010 how prominently alcohol will feature at the 2022 World Cup. Qatar is not a “dry” state like its neighbour Saudi Arabia, although public drinking is nonetheless illegal there.
To the best of my knowledge, there is just one liquor store in all of Qatar, and even the majority of tourists are unable to buy alcohol there. There are bars in certain hotels where you may buy alcohol; a half litre of beer would set you back around $15. Budweiser beer, which contains alcohol, will still be sold at the massive FIFA Fan Fest in the middle of Doha for around $14 per half litre.. Additionally, alcohol sales will be available in some fan zones while others will not. There is no need for awkwardness in the fan’s choice of venue. When I was a kid, stadiums were not like this.
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