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Qatar World Cup officials relax position on beer sales

World Cup beer sales in Qatar

Qatar 2022 World Cup organizers have finally agreed to sell alcoholic beer to fans at the upcoming tournament.  FIFA announced this weekend that soccer fans can buy beer inside the eight host stadiums, as well as is in the “Fan Festival” area held at a downtown park in the capital city of Doha.

There is, however, a bit of a catch: alcoholic beer will still not be served during matches to most ticket holders.  A vast majority of fans will only be able to enjoy alcoholic beverages at certain times throughout each day.

In the announcement, FIFA said that the beer is to be sold “within the stadium perimeter prior to kickoff and after the final whistle.”

“Inside the stadium bowl ticket holders will have access to non-alcoholic Budweiser Zero,” FIFA stated.  “At the FIFA Fan Festival, Budweiser will be available to purchase from 6.30 p.m.”  Budweiser Zero is the American company’s non-alcoholic beer.

Soccer’s governing body has held an exclusive partnership with Ab InBev for over 30 years.  Budweiser has been the official beer provider at World Cup competitions since 1986. 

The World Cup host has, however, made certain alcoholic beverages available for quite some time.  Pricier MATCH hospitality packages have been on sale since November of last year.  These options allow access to champagne, wine, spirits, as well as alcoholic beer.  The upscale packages are still currently available for purchase.

“It is important to remember,” MATCH Hospitality executive chairman Jaime Byrom recently explained to The Associated Press, “that the entire bid process of the FIFA World Cup is designed to deliver the kind of World Cup experience that all fans from around the world have a reason to expect and to look forward to.”

The 2022 World Cup is set to start on November 20th, as Qatar hosts Ecuador.  USMNT will start their tournament the following day against Wales.  The tournament runs until December 18th, when the champions will be crowned.

Photo credit: Manuel Geisser via Imago

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