The world football federation, FIFA, has officially banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in 8 Qatar stadiums. This agreement follows discussions between the host country’s authorities and FIFA.
FIFA, in its official statement, Friday 18/11 stated that a decision had been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages at the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations, and licensed venues as well as removing the selling point of beer from the perimeter of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium.
Last September, Qatar said it would allow ticketed fans to purchase alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches starting three hours before kickoff and one hour after the final whistle, but not during matches.
“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadium and its surroundings provide a fun, respectful, and enjoyable experience for all fans,” added a FIFA statement.
Budweiser, a beer brand that is a FIFA partner, is still allowed to sell beer in designated areas before and after each game.
“The tournament organizers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continued support of our shared commitment to serve everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” said FIFA.
According to the New York Times, Budweiser paid around $75 million for a sponsorship deal with FIFA.
“As FIFA partners for more than three decades, we look forward to kicking off the FIFA World Cup campaign. We’re all over the world to celebrate football with our consumers. Several planned stadium activations could not proceed due to circumstances beyond our control,” said a spokesperson for AB InBev.
In another hand, the Football Supporters Association (FSA), the national representative body for football fans in England and Wales, criticized the decision to sell the beer.
In a statement released Friday, the FSA said some fans like beer at games and some don’t.
“If they can change their minds about this at a moment’s notice, without explanation, supporters will have concerns about whether they will fulfill other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”