During Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup, the country was required to comply with FIFA requirements for selling alcohol at World Cup stadiums. However, the nation has strict Islamic laws and alcohol consumption is not a part of their culture. It’s illegal to drink in public, and alcohol sales are restricted in Qatar.
FIFA has long been concerned with the commercial interests of World Cup sponsors. Its contracts with AB InBev, Budweiser’s parent company, allow the brewer to sell alcoholic beer at stadiums during the World Cup. However, the country’s government has refused to let Budweiser sell alcoholic beer in Qatar. This has caused confusion for the beer maker, who is worried about its legal action against the nation.
Qatar’s government had promised that alcohol would be available for all fans at the World Cup, but the move was a surprising U-turn. The nation is a conservative Muslim country that adheres to the ultraconservative form of Islam known as Wahhabi. According to a New York Times report, the decision originated with Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the brother of the emir of Qatar.
Alcohol will be available for fans in the VIP hospitality suites at stadiums, but those who are not in the VIP suites will only have access to alcohol in special licensed areas outside the stadiums. Alcohol will also be sold at the official FIFA Fan Festival. However, the sale of alcohol will be restricted to certain hours.
Alcohol will only be sold in Qatar’s World Cup stadiums if ticketed fans are present. Those who are not in the stadium can only drink at special licensed bars and restaurants outside of the stadiums. Ticketed fans who are not in the VIP suites can buy alcoholic beer in upscale hotel bars before matches.
Budweiser has been an official World Cup sponsor since 1986. It is also a major sponsor of FIFA. In 2011, when Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup, AB InBev renewed its deal with FIFA. However, the company’s representative has said that many partners felt let down by FIFA.
It’s estimated that 1.2 million fans will attend the World Cup in Qatar. These are more than a third of the country’s three million people. In addition, the World Cup is expected to draw more fans from South Asia and the Middle East than other World Cups.
Despite the changes in Qatar’s drinking laws, organisers have promised fans that alcohol will be reasonably priced. However, fans who are traveling to the country will need to alter their behaviours. Some fans were dismayed by the price of food and booze in the fan zone. In addition, fans can face fines for drinking in public. Some anti-social behaviour can lead to expulsion from the country.
The World Cup is a month-long party. However, alcohol is not part of the culture in Qatar and consuming alcohol in public is illegal. Alcohol is sold in a limited number of specially licensed restaurants and bars outside of stadiums, but those will be restricted to certain hours.