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Qatar to ban beer at World Cup in dramatic reversal

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Alex Tai | SOUP Photographs | Getty Photographs

Qatar is banning all beer gross sales at its World Cup stadiums, in a dramatic turnaround simply two days earlier than the large soccer match kicks off, FIFA confirmed on Friday.

“Following discussions between the host nation authorities and FIFA, the choice was taken to pay attention the sale of alcoholic drinks on the FIFA Fan Pageant, different fan locations and licensed venues, eradicating the beer retailers from the edges of the FIFA stadium. FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar,” he stated. stated a FIFA assertion.

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The gas-rich, conservative Muslim nation doesn’t outright ban alcohol for guests, however its sale and consumption is strictly managed. Alcohol is generally solely allowed in sure particularly licensed accommodations and eating places and out of sight from the road.

Budweiser’s non-alcoholic beer, Bud Zero, will proceed to be bought in any respect eight World Cup stadiums within the nation, the assertion stated.

“Host nation authorities and FIFA will proceed to make sure that stadiums and surrounding areas present an satisfying, respectful and satisfying expertise for all followers,” he added. “Match organizers respect AB InBev’s understanding and continued help of our joint dedication to serve everybody through the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.”

The reported ruling calls into query the $75 billion sponsorship of the match by main brewery Budweiser and is more likely to anger many organizers and followers in attendance already annoyed by restrictions which are new to the 92-year-old occasion.

FIFA’s selection of Qatar, a small Gulf state with a inhabitants of three million and a restricted soccer historical past, to host the 2022 World Cup was controversial from the beginning when the selection was made in 2010.

The internet hosting of the match in Qatar, which is anticipated to draw round 1.2 million vacationers, has been marred by controversy and criticism over a spread of points. This consists of staff’ rights, customer capability points, cultural and spiritual restrictions and the truth that, for the primary time in its historical past, the World Cup is happening in winter moderately than summer time because of the nation’s excessive warmth through the months. of summer time.

It has additionally drawn criticism for last-minute modifications, together with a request to delay the beginning of the match by just a few days that solely befell in August, a authorities demand final week that beer tents be moved away from stadiums and, lastly, the choice on Friday to fully ban gross sales of beer in stadiums, simply over 48 hours earlier than the beginning of the primary match on Sunday.

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