The Lusail Stadium in Doha is one of eight stadiums that will not sell alcohol during the World Cup Host Country: Qatar Dates: 20 November to 18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales , BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Daily TV Listings – Full Coverage Details
Alcohol will no longer be sold to fans in Qatar’s eight World Cup stadiums after Fifa changed its policy two days before the start of the tournament.
Those in the stadium’s corporate areas during the tournament will still be able to purchase alcohol.
The World Cup begins on Sunday when Qatar plays Ecuador.
Budweiser, a major sponsor of Fifa, is owned by beer maker AB InBev and had exclusive rights to sell beer at the World Cup.
“Following discussions between the authorities of the host country and Fifa, a decision was made to focus alcoholic beverage sales at the Fifa Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues and to close the outlets for beer from the stadium perimeters of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar remove.” said a statement from world football’s governing body.
“There is no impact on sales of Bud Zero, which will continue to be available in all World Cup stadiums in Qatar.
“The host country authorities and Fifa will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide a comfortable, respectful and enjoyable experience for all fans.
“The tournament organizers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continued support for our shared commitment to be there for all during the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022.”
Budweiser posted a message on Twitter on Friday that read, “Well, that’s awkward,” before the post was later deleted.
A spokesman for AB InBev said they could not go ahead with “some of the planned stadium activations” due to “circumstances beyond our control”.
The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) criticized the timing of the decision to ban the sale of beer to most fans.
“Some fans like a beer at a game and some don’t, but the real issue is the last-minute U-turn, which points to a broader problem – the total lack of communication and clarity on the part of the organizing committee towards the fans.” said an FSA spokesman.external link
“If they can change their minds at short notice and without explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about fulfilling other promises related to housing, transportation or cultural issues.”
England fan Ryan, an Arsenal supporter who is in Qatar for the World Cup, expressed concern at the late move. He told BBC Sport: “It’s not ideal but as far as I know there will be other places to drink. Football is football and part of the culture is to have a drink with your friends, but there’s no point in crying about it.
“They’ve had 12 years to organize it and I think it doesn’t bode well to have so many last-minute changes. As fans, we have to keep doing that.”
In August, Fifa changed the start date of the World Cup so that the first match of the competition would be Qatar vs. Ecuador.
The game was to be played as the third game on November 21, with Senegal versus the Netherlands scheduled to be the opening game earlier that day.
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