Beer Sales Banned Around Qatar World Cup Stadiums: With the World Cup just two days away, Qatar has banned the sale of beer at the stadiums where the FIFA World Cup 2022 matches will be played from November 2022. Earlier, official sponsor Budweiser was allowed to sell beer at the Qatar World Cup official venues. But now after rounds of talks between Qatar and FIFA officials, it has been decided that the sale of beer will be completely stopped within the stadiums, as per news reports. The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar during the tournament period and will be available in areas outside match venues and fan zones, as well as inside hotels.
Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to stage soccer's showpiece event. The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar as drinking in public areas is strictly prohibited. The sale of alcohol during the tournament has been a major point of discussion between FIFA and the host country. Qatari chiefs had initially said that the land laws will be relaxed for the four-week period, making alcohol more accessible and affordable.
On Friday, FIFA said that the sale of alcoholic beverages will be removed from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters. “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," FIFA said in a statement.
It added that there will be no impact on the sale of Bud Zero, which be available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.
Earlier, even an agreement was in place for it to be available outside tournament venues and in fan zones. But in the final run-up to the event, the royal family reportedly had a change of heart and had been insisting FIFA to restrict the availability of beer at stadiums.
US-based beer giant Budweiser, which has pumped in $75 million as part of the sponsorship agreement with FIFA, was told last week to relocate its stalls which were scheduled to sell alcoholic drinks from stadiums to less prominent locations. Initially, it was decided that fans can buy a 500 ml beverage for a whopping amount of £11.60 from Budweiser stalls.
The ban is significant as the American beer giant is one of the key sponsors of the football mega event. And now, when it won’t be allowed to sell its product or have any visibility at the matches, its brand value will suffer. This would be a complete breach of the multimillion-dollar contract FIFA and the beverage company have signed.
Budweiser owner AB InBev told news channels in the US that: “AB InBev was informed on 12 November and they are working with Fifa to relocate the concession outlets to locations as directed. We are working with Fifa to bring the best possible experience to the fans. Our focus is on delivering the best possible consumer experience under the new circumstances.”
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