FIFA World Cup: Qatar stadiums banned from promoting alcoholic beer – Nationwide |


2022-11-18 18:29:54

The sale of all beer with alcohol on the eight World Cup stadiums was banned Friday, solely two days earlier than the soccer event is about to start out.

Non-alcoholic beer will nonetheless be bought on the 64 matches within the nation.

“Following discussions between host nation authorities and FIFA, a call has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic drinks on the FIFA Fan Competition, different fan locations and licensed venues, eradicating gross sales factors of beer from … stadium perimeters,” FIFA mentioned in a press release.

Champagne, wine, whiskey and different alcohol remains to be anticipated to be served within the luxurious hospitality areas of the stadiums. Exterior of these locations, beer is often the one alcohol bought to common ticket holders.

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Ab InBev, the mother or father firm of World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

AB InBev pays tens of tens of millions of {dollars} at every World Cup for unique rights to promote beer and has already shipped nearly all of its inventory from Britain to Qatar in expectation of promoting its product to tens of millions of followers. The corporate’s partnership with FIFA began on the 1986 event and they’re in negotiations for renewing their deal for the following World Cup in North America.

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Whereas a sudden choice like this may increasingly appear excessive within the West, Qatar is an autocracy ruled by a hereditary emir, who has absolute say over all governmental choices.

Qatar, an energy-rich Gulf Arab nation, follows an ultraconservative type of Islam generally known as Wahhabism like neighboring Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, alcohol gross sales have been permitted in resort bars for years.

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Qatar’s authorities and its Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy didn’t instantly reply to request for remark.

Already, the event has seen Qatar change the date of the opening match solely weeks earlier than the World Cup started.

When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, the nation agreed to FIFA’s necessities of promoting alcohol in stadiums, and once more when signing contracts after successful the vote in 2010.

On the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the host nation was pressured to alter a regulation to permit alcohol gross sales in stadiums.

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Ronan Evain, the chief director of the fan group Soccer Supporters Europe, referred to as the choice to ban beer gross sales on the stadiums in Qatar “extraordinarily worrying.”

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“For a lot of followers, whether or not they don’t drink alcohol or are used to dry stadium insurance policies at residence, this can be a element. It gained’t change their event,” Evain wrote on Twitter. “However with 48 (hours) to go, we’ve clearly entered a harmful territory _ the place `assurances’ don’t matter anymore.”

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AB InBev’s take care of FIFA was renewed in 2011 _ after Qatar was picked as host _ in a two-tournament package deal by means of 2022. Nevertheless, the Belgium-based brewer has confronted uncertainty in current months on the precise particulars of the place it will probably serve and promote beer in Qatar.

An settlement was introduced in September for beer with alcohol to be bought throughout the stadium perimeters earlier than and after video games. Solely alcohol-free Bud Zero could be bought within the stadium concourses for followers to drink of their seats in branded cups.

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Final weekend, AB InBev was left shocked by a brand new coverage insisted on by Qatari organizers to maneuver beer stalls to much less seen areas throughout the perimeter.

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Budweiser was additionally to be bought within the evenings solely on the official FIFA fan zone in downtown Al Bidda Park, the place as much as 40,000 followers can collect to look at video games on large screens. The value was confirmed as $14 for a beer.

The corporate shall be based mostly at an upscale resort within the West Bay space of Doha with its personal branded nightclub for the event.

On the W Resort in Doha, employees continued placing collectively a Budweiser-themed bar deliberate on the web site. Its acquainted AB brand was plastered on columns and partitions on the resort, with one studying: “The World Is Yours To Take.”

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