Alcohol will not be sold at any of the eight World Cup stadiums in Qatar.
Beer had been set to be served “in select areas within stadiums” despite its sale being strictly controlled in the conservative Muslim country but a last-minute change of policy from FIFA means that this will no longer be the case.
Those in corporate areas at the venues will be able to purchase alcohol at the tournament, which begins on Sunday (20.11.22) when the host nation take on Ecuador.
Budweiser, a major FIFA sponsor, had exclusive rights to sell beer at the World Cup.
A statement from world football’s governing body said: “Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA fan festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.
“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 understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
The Football Supporters Association (FSA) criticised the timing of the decision as fans travel to support their countries in the Middle East.
A spokesperson said: “Some fans like a beer at a game 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.”
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