Complete ban at World Cup?: Qatar provokes beer dispute with FIFA

Football and beer belong together for many people.

Complete ban at World Cup?: Qatar provokes beer dispute with FIFA

Football and beer belong together for many people. Of course also at a World Cup. But in Qatar this is becoming a problem. The World Cup host wants a complete ban, while FIFA remains tough. The organizers are therefore taking a different approach.

With just days to go before the start of the FIFA World Cup, hosts Qatar have apparently changed their strategy regarding serving alcohol during matches. According to media reports, the stands that were already set up around the stadiums were dismantled and are now to be set up in other places. As the "Bild" reports, the Qataris would continue to push for a complete ban, but FIFA and their beer sponsor held against it. The "New York Times" had previously written that the emirate's royal family had announced that it would not be so public to serve beer.

"We are working with FIFA to ensure fans have the best possible access to our products," said the brewery and group of companies Anheuser-Busch InBev, a major sponsor of world governing body FIFA. She serves the Budweiser brand. They were informed on Saturday and are working with FIFA "to move the sales outlets to the desired locations. Our focus is on offering the best possible customer experience under the new conditions."

The World Cup organizing committee has meanwhile rejected the reports. There are no new regulations for serving alcohol, said a spokesman for the German Press Agency. Certain hospitality areas would be relocated, including some Budweiser tents. However, these remained within the stadium area as before. The serving times and the number of stands would not be changed in any of the eight stadiums.

It was planned that fans would be allowed to buy alcoholic beer in certain zones within the stadium areas during the tournament from November 20 to December 18 - but not directly in the arenas and only before and after the games. Alcohol-free beer is served in the stadiums. In the evening, serving is also permitted at the official fan festival in the center of the capital, Doha.

Alcohol is not completely banned in Qatar, but is only served to a very limited extent, for example in bars or restaurants in certain hotels. Foreigners who have a residence permit can also buy it in a shop, but must be older than 21 and need a permit to do so.

(This article was first published on Monday, November 14, 2022.)

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