Qatar to permit beer gross sales at World Cup video games 3 hours earlier than kickoff – supply


Qatar 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 through the match, a supply with data of plans for the event stated.

Budweiser, a serious World Cup sponsor with unique rights to promote beer on the event, will serve beer inside the ticketed perimeter surrounding every stadium, however not within the stadium stands or concourse, the supply stated.

This yr’s World Cup is the primary to be held in a Muslim nation with strict controls on alcohol, presenting distinctive challenges for organizers of an occasion sponsored by a serious beer model and infrequently related to beer-drinking followers.

“Beer will be available when gates open, which is three hours before kick off. Whoever wants to have a beer will be able to. And then when they leave the stadium as well for one hour after the final whistle,” the supply stated.

Moreover, Budweiser might be permitted to serve beer in a part of the primary FIFA fan zone in central Doha from 6:30pm to 1:00am day by day of the 29-day event, which kicks off on November 20, the supply stated.

At earlier World Cup tournaments, beer was served in fan zones all day lengthy.

The choice about the place and when beer might be bought to followers is now finalized, however the worth followers might be charged for a beer remains to be underneath dialogue, the supply stated.

“We are working closely with FIFA, which is managing the relationship with the Qatari authorities, to ensure our activations for the tournament are executed respectfully and in compliance with local rules and regulations,” a spokesperson for Budweiser brewer AB InBev stated in an emailed assertion.

Qatar’s World Cup organizers, the Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy, didn’t reply to requests for remark concerning the World Cup controls on alcohol. Qatar’s authorities media workplace directed requests to the Supreme Committee.

There are 4 matches scheduled on most days of the event’s group stage, with the earliest match kicking off at 1 p.m.

It was not instantly clear how Qatar will deal with beer gross sales forward of the 1 p.m. Wales and Iran sport on Friday November 25, when most Muslims in Qatar might be gathering at mosques for the weekly congregational prayer.

Qatar at the moment requires most outlets and eating places within the nation to shut throughout Friday prayers.

Questions have swirled across the function alcohol would play at this yr’s World Cup since Qatar received internet hosting rights in 2010. Whereas not a “dry” state like neighboring Saudi Arabia, consuming alcohol in public locations is illegitimate in Qatar.

Guests can not deliver alcohol into Qatar, even from airport responsibility free, they usually can not purchase alcohol on the nation’s solely liquor retailer, on the outskirts of Doha. Solely international residents with permits can store there for residence consumption.

Guests can drink at a number of dozen licensed motels and golf equipment, the place a pint of beer can price $18.

Budweiser will promote its non-alcoholic beer, Budweiser Zero, in stadium concourses and stands throughout video games and at different fan websites, the supply stated.

“We always respect the local customs and culture in the markets in which we operate or host events,” a spokesperson for AB InBev instructed Reuters in an emailed assertion.

“Our promotion and activation of Budweiser Zero during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar will target the international guests coming to enjoy and celebrate football at the fan sites.”