Qatari royals demand total ban on booze sales at World Cup stadiums 48 hours before tournament begins

18 November 2022, 06:20 | Updated: 18 November 2022, 06:25

Booze ban: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, head of the QFA, (L) and Qatar national team manager Talal Al-Kaabi (R) attend Qatar's training session this week
Booze ban: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, head of the QFA, (L) and Qatar national team manager Talal Al-Kaabi (R) attend Qatar's training session this week. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Asher McShane

Qatari rulers are demanding FIFA bans the sale of alcohol at all World Cup stadiums ahead of the start of the tournament this Sunday - despite a multi-million pound deal with Budweiser.

Hosts Qatar are pressuring FIFA to stop Budweiser being being sold near the venues and move stalls to other locations.

If the U-turn goes ahead, and Budweiser is unable to sell beer or have any visibility, Fifa will be in breach of a multi-million dollar contract, according to reports. 

It is unknown whether fans will be able to buy beer at matches. The only place alcohol can be bought at present is at the fan parks in Doha.

The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, but it is due to be available in the area immediately outside match venues and fan zones, as well as within hotels.

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The Qatari royal family, headed by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (C) is reportedly calling for the ban on alcohol at stadiums
The Qatari royal family, headed by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (C) is reportedly calling for the ban on alcohol at stadiums. Picture: Alamy

Budweiser is one of FIFA's biggest sponsors but was told on Saturday to relocate stalls selling its product at stadiums to less prominent locations.

The Times reports that Qatar 2022 now wants to go even further and that discussions are ongoing between FIFA and Budweiser and that the removal of Budweiser from stadiums is now ‘likely’.

The New York Times reported that the order to move the beer stalls and make them less visible came from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the brother of Qatar's ruler.

This caller isn't going to watch a single Qatar World Cup game

Inside the fan zones, beer will be available but only after 6.30pm and anyone seen to be drunk will be sent to special ‘zones’ to sober up.

Fans will only be allowed to buy four pints at a time at most, at £12 each.

FIFA and Budweiser owner AB InBev have been approached for comment.

In response to the request to move its outlets, AB InBev told Sky News: "AB InBev was informed on November 12 and are working with FIFA to relocate the concession outlets to locations as directed.

"We are working with FIFA to bring the best possible experience to the fans. Our focus is on delivering the best possible consumer experience under the new circumstances."

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