FIFA confirms no alcohol to be bought at Qatar World Cup stadiums

Doha, Qatar

Simply two days earlier than the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, soccer’s world governing physique FIFA confirmed that no alcohol shall be bought on the eight stadiums which can host the match’s 64 matches.

“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 perimeter,” mentioned the FIFA assertion.

The Muslim nation is taken into account to be very conservative and tightly regulates alcohol gross sales and utilization.

In September, Qatar had mentioned it will allow ticketed followers to purchase alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches beginning three hours earlier than kickoff and for one hour after the ultimate whistle, however not throughout the match.

“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums,” added the FIFA assertion.

“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.”

Whereas some followers could also be happy the stadiums are alcohol free, others are confused and pissed off – together with 21-year-old scholar Arnov Paul-Choudhury.

“It’s the World Cup, it’s football, you need to be able to drink around the stadium,” he advised CNN Sport in Doha. “I just don’t think they’re doing the right things to attract fans.”

Budweiser was set to promote beer inside the ticketed perimeter surrounding every of the eight stadiums earlier than and after every recreation.

The beer model, which is considered one of FIFA’s companions, tweeted, “Well, this is awkward,” although the social media submit was rapidly deleted.

Budweiser is owned by the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” continued the FIFA assertion.

Budweiser pays round $75 million for its sponsorship settlement with FIFA, in accordance with the New York Occasions.

“As partners of FIFA for over three decades, we look forward to our activations of FIFA World Cup™ campaigns around the world to celebrate football with our consumers,” mentioned an AB InBev spokesperson.

“Some of the planned stadium activations cannot move forward due to circumstances beyond our control.”

The Soccer Supporters’ Affiliation (FSA), the nationwide consultant physique for soccer followers in England and Wales, has condemned the choice on beer gross sales.

In an announcement launched on Friday, the FSA mentioned: “Some followers like a beer on the match, and a few don’t, however the true concern is the final minute U-turn which is speaks to a wider drawback – the entire lack of communications and readability from the organising committee in direction of the supporters.

“If they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about whether they will fulfill other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”

Followers is not going to be the one ones disenchanted with the eleventh-hour U-turn.

Ben Peppi, head of sports activities providers at JMW Solicitors, says the transfer is “hugely damaging” for FIFA’s model.

“Brands will be treading very carefully now around FIFA for future tournaments,” he advised CNN Sport. “Because if two days out before the biggest global sporting event that they host, they turn round to a brand and say, ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’ and breach that contract, that’s not going to give any security to any new brand.”

The 2022 Qatar World Cup runs from November 20 till December 18.

CNN continues to be ready for an official assertion from Qatar’s Supreme Committee.