World Cup Stadiums Ban Beer At Last Minute
With the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicking off in less than 12 hours, the governing body has confirmed that alcohol will be banned from being sold in and around the perimeter of all stadiums.
According to The Guardian, the Qataris wanted to make every stadium environment comfortable, and that would not be the case if fans were seen drinking alcohol.
Now, alcohol will only be available in hospitality boxes which cost a minimum of USD$23,000 (AUD$35,000), and in some fan zones after 7pm.
In a statement, FIFA, said: “There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero, which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.”
“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.
“The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s [the brewer of Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch InBev] understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022,” it said.
Additionally, the move will pose FIFA with potential legal action after a USD$75 million (AUD$112 million) sponsorship from Budweiser.
Commenting on the last-minute decision, a Dootball Supporters’ Assocation spokesperson said: “Some fans like a beer at a match and some don’t, but the real issue is the last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem – the total lack of communication and clarity from the organising committee towards 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 fulfil other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues,” they said.
The decision to ban alcohol in stadium comes after ticket sales for the tournament hit 2.45 million.