• Saturday, 22 June 2024
Alcohol Sales Are Not Permitted At Qatar's World Cup Stadiums

Alcohol Sales Are Not Permitted At Qatar's World Cup Stadiums

In a U-turn, World Cup organizers will announce on Friday that no alcoholic beer will be sold to fans at Qatar's stadiums, according to a source familiar with the decision.

The expected announcement comes two days before the World Cup begins on Sunday, the first to be held in a conservative Muslim country with strict controls on alcohol consumption in public.

"A larger number of fans are attending from across the Middle East and South Asia, where alcohol does not play such a large role in the culture," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was speaking ahead of an announcement.

"The thought was that the presence of alcohol would not create an enjoyable experience for many fans."

Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor with exclusive rights to sell beer at the tournament, was to sell alcoholic beer within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the eight stadiums three hours before and one hour after each game.

However, the policy change comes after long-term negotiations between FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Budweiser, and executives from Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which is organizing the World Cup, according to the source.

According to the source, alcohol will still be served inside the stadium hospitality zones.

Reuters' request for comment was not met with a response from Budweiser, FIFA, or the SC.

Since Qatar won the hosting rights for this year's World Cup in 2010, there has been speculation about the role alcohol will play. While Qatar is not a "dry" state like neighboring Saudi Arabia, drinking alcohol in public is prohibited.

Visitors are not permitted to bring alcohol into Qatar, even from the airport's duty-free section, and most are not permitted to purchase alcohol from the country's sole liquor store. Alcohol is sold in some hotel bars, with beer costing around $15 per half-litre.

According to the source, Budweiser will continue to sell alcoholic beer at the main FIFA Fan Fest in central Doha for about $14 per half pint. Some other fan zones will sell alcohol, while others will be alcohol-free.

"Fans can go wherever they want without feeling confined. Previously, this was not the case in stadiums "According to the source.



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