World Cup stadiums in Qatar should be alcohol-free


The 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be different. Fans unable to purchase alcohol during games certainly qualify.

According to a report by Reuters’ Andrew Mills, all stands at World Cup stadiums will be alcohol-free this winter, with beer sales outside the arenas allowed before and after some matches in the main FIFA fan zone in Doha.

Alcohol is also reportedly being sold to fans in a corner of the Doha Golf Club, which is a few kilometers from the World Cup stadiums and the main fan zone.

From Reuters:

“Plans are still being finalized at the stadiums but the current discussion is to allow fans to drink beer upon arrival and exit of the stadium, but no beer will be served during the game or in the stadium bowl,” the source said to Reuters.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, Qatar is not a completely dry country, but alcohol consumption is severely restricted. It can usually only be bought in a few bars and hotels, but public consumption is illegal and public intoxication is a serious crime.

How FIFA would handle hosting an event with an official beer sponsor – Budweiser, which is unlikely to be too happy with the decision – was one of the key questions the organization faced when it hosted the 2010 World Cup under great suspicion Qatar forgave circumstances.

FIFA had reportedly campaigned to allow drinking in the stadium, similar to Brazil’s, despite a history of alcohol-related bad fan behavior, but apparently unsuccessfully.

It is not the first concession FIFA had to make to hold the event in Qatar as the event would likely be underway now had it been awarded to another country bidding for the 2022 event. The tournament has been postponed to the winter to ease Qatar’s notorious heat.

The World Cup in Qatar was always going to be weird. (Photo credit should read Sidhik Keerantakath/Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

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