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Qatar Royal Family Kicks Alcohol Sales At World Cup Stadiums


Two days before the contentious World Cup begins, the Qatari royal family is putting pressure on FIFA to outright forbid the sale of alcohol in any World Cup stadiums.

The host government, Qatar, has put a lot of pressure on FIFA to avoid selling beer at the eight World Cup stadiums. In Qatar, alcohol sales are normally limited to tourists drinking in authorized hotels and restaurants or non-Muslim citizens with special permits in their houses.

If the U-turn proceeds, Budweiser, one of the tournament’s major sponsors, won’t be able to offer its beer to spectators during matches, which might result in FIFA breaching a significant portion of its deal with the corporation, according to Daily Mail Reports.

Budweiser and FIFA are reportedly still in talks regarding the matter, but according to The Times, the withdrawal of Budweiser sales is now “probable” as a result of the Qatari royal family’s intervention. According to the New York Times, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the ruler of Qatar, made the intervention.

Currently, World Cup fans can purchase alcohol outside of stadiums, such as on stadium concourses, in hotels and restaurants, and during specific periods in fan zones.

In order to prevent supporters from getting too inebriated, beer will cost close to £12 per pint at official establishments. If someone does get drunk, they might be transported to a designated area to sober up.

Alcohol sales will be prohibited on concourses if the Qataris are successful in amending the rules.

FIFA has already given the Qatari hosts one concession this week regarding the availability of Budweiser in stadiums.

FIFA agreed to shift the Budweiser concession stalls to locations that would make them less noticeable after the organizers complained that they were too noticeable. Such adjustments so close to the beginning of a tournament are quite uncommon.

Just three months ago, FIFA also consented to moving the tournament’s opening date forward by one day so that the hosts would play in the sole match on that day. The new date for the Qatar vs. Ecuador game is November 20.

The only place to purchase alcohol in or near stadiums if Budweiser is prohibited from concourses are hospitality boxes, which start at $22,450 per game.

There will be “soft drinks, beers, Champagne, sommelier-selected wines, and premium spirits” for those who are fortunate enough to be seated in a box.


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