Qatari leaders demand ban on alcohol at World Cup stadiums just days before tournament
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Powerful officials in Qatar have called on Fifa to prevent the sale of beer in all of the eight World Cup stadiums just days before the huge event is set to kick off.
You think football, you think beer, with plastic cups of golden liquid being both consumed and thrown around in abundance throughout games, and particularly throughout the World Cup.
Fans at home will have no trouble enjoying a few drinks while watching England play in the upcoming matches, but those travelling to Qatar to watch the football may find themselves restricted as a result of demands made by Qatari leaders in the last few hours.
It comes after officials from the highest the Qatari state demanded earlier this month that tents selling and advertising Budweiser, a big sponsor of the World Cup, must be moved to less 'obtrusive locations'.
Fifa and Qatar had previously reached an agreement that the sale of alcohol would be allowed in a security perimeter outside venues, but not inside the stadium bowls themselves. However, footage shared online on Sunday showed members of staff moving tents bearing Budweiser's logo to new locations.
Workers at a World Cup stadium hustling over the weekend to move a beer tent after an edict from Qatar hide sales points to less visible locations around all 8 stadiums amid claims of safety fears. pic.twitter.com/FSnT73JYrj— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) November 14, 2022
Now, with just two days to go until the tournament kicks off on Sunday, 20 November, it is expected that fans will be told they can't buy beer at any games.
Qatar is said to have put more pressure on Fifa to perform a U-turn on its beer policy for the event just last night (17 November), so at the moment the only place that fans can confidently expect to get a beer will be at the Doha fan parks.
The demand is thought to have come from the Al Thani royal family in Qatar, which typically restricts the sale of alcohol only to certain hotels in Doha.
If Fifa decides to adhere to the demand, it could be that the only place selling alcohol inside stadiums are the hospitality boxes, which will set fans back by a cost of $22,450 (about £19,000) per match.
Hospitality suppliers have insisted they will not be affected by the restrictions on alcohol, according to The Times, with advertising for the suites promising a 'selection of drinks available according to custom and preference; soft drinks, beers, champagne, sommelier-selected wines and premium spirits'.
Budweiser pays approximately $75 million (£62m) as a sponsor of the World Cup, and if it is not allowed to sell its beer or advertise its product at the event then Fifa could find itself in breach of a multimillion-dollar contract.
LADbible has reached out to Fifa for comment.
Featured Image Credit: Qatar/Alamy Stock Photo/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: Football, World Cup, Food And Drink