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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Qatar Bans Beer Sales at World Cup Stadiums?

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FIFA said on Friday that alcoholic drinks will no longer be available inside the stadiums hosting the World Cup in Qatar. This announcement has been made two days before the commencement of the competition. 

In this blog post, we are going to discuss everything about the decision made by FIFA on Friday. Make sure, you will read till the end otherwise you don’t get full details about this decision. Let’s start without any further delay. 

Why do the Bans on Beer Sales Matter a lot?

In the conservative Muslim country of Qatar, alcohol sales are tightly regulated. With Budweiser serving as the tournament’s sponsor since 1986 and contributing tens of millions of dollars per World Cup season, the new strategy might cause friction with Budweiser.

What are FIFA & Qatar Saying?

FIFA announced in a statement initially, the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations, and licensed establishments will serve as the primary locations for the sale of alcoholic beverages going forward. Beer sales points will no longer be occupying outside stadium perimeters. 

But the restriction became more rigid last week when the alcohol stands were left to even less noticeable locations outside the stadium perimeters, forcing many fans to walk far from the action to make a purchase. 

Then it was announced that no beer will be offered inside the stadiums. FIFA did not explain the unexpected change in plans, and when Qatari organizers were cross-examining, they referenced FIFA’s statement. According to FIFA, there has been no change in the availability of Bud Zero, which will continue to be sold at all of Qatar’s World Cup venues. 

Within the ticketed area lining each of the eight stadiums, Budweiser, a significant World Cup sponsor owned by the brewer AB InBev, was to only serve alcoholic beverages three hours before and one hour following each game. The FIFA World Cup organizers are grateful for AB InBev’s understanding and ongoing support of their mutual vision to provide for everyone. 

What is the Reaction of the Fans After this Ban?

Fans aren’t happy with this decision to ban alcoholic beers. Due to Qatar’s exploitation of migrant workers, discrimination against the LGBT community, and other issues, numerous fans had already decided to miss this year’s tournament. Beer is a popular beverage, so banning it will undoubtedly spark more anger and hatred, especially because supporters paid thousands of dollars to travel to this venue with the assumption that they may consume it before and after games. 

Who is Responsible for this U-turn Right Now?

Nobody is officially disclosing who makes this announcement or their intentions. Informally, there is an agreement in Doha that this is “coming from the top.” We are aware that this decision was unavoidable. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ruler, is significantly high. Probably.

In the ultimate monarchy of Qatar, nothing big occurs without his approval. We are highly doubtful to ever know for sure because ultimate monarchs do not have to defend themselves.

The first hint unfolded before this week when workers were relocating the stadium beer stands to less visible areas far from the main gates. However, if this is an important step in creating a balance that would be acceptable culturally, it fails because less visible is still recognizable. Meanwhile, there has been increasing dissatisfaction between FIFA and Qatar for several weeks. 

The host country is upset with what it sees as a flood of hate coming its way and faults football’s governing body for failing to acknowledge it. Whether it’s correct or not, Qatar believes FIFA could have achieved more to promote this World Cup. Qatar finds it meaningless why Gianni Infantino has not already directed Western media outlets to stop reporting on migrant labor, LGBTQ+ rights, and how Qatar was awarded the right to host the event. Since they have the authority to direct reporters’ stories in Qatar.

Infantino did attempt to focus everyone’s attention on football a few weeks ago with his already famous email to the 32 competing federations; this communication was heavily criticized in the West and served as evidence A in the great World Cup sports washing argument. On the eve of the tournament, the FIFA president spoke to the media and defended Qatar forcefully, accused the West of moral “hypocrisy,” and claimed that he was “200%” in the management of the event.

What’s the Big Deal About it?

When it comes to the fan experience, the access to alcohol in Qatar was always going to be different from earlier tournaments. This World Cup is being hosted in the most Muslim nation ever hosting the tournament. While Qatar is not completely “dry” like its neighborhood Saudi Arabia, it is illegal to drink alcohol or be alcoholic in public. 

In response to concerns about the safety of LGBTQ+ fans in a nation where homosexuality is against the law, the Qatar Supreme Committee stated that “everyone will be welcome.” However, World Cup organizers are now intended to hold the event in a “danger zone” in other aspects. 

It seems like it’s not only about alcoholic beers. When it comes to beer or the cessation of the legalization of some same-sex relationships, such as kissing in public or flying rainbow flags inside stadiums, we have been often doubtful to believe according to organizers. It all seems like it’s back where it belongs as we’re moving into a risky region.

Conclusion

The World Cup tournament will be Qatar’s first major international sporting event. In total, we can say that Qatar has banned beer sales in all stadiums during the tournament to ensure that fans have a safe experience at stadium venues. This decision is an effort to protect women and children from alcoholic violence and sexual assault, as well as to encourage responsible drinking among fans.

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