Budweiser, the principal beer sponsor for FIFA over the last three decades, received a stadium ban on beers from Qatar at the World Cup. Kicking off in just days, there is now a ban on the sale of beer to the majority of guests.
According to the Financial Times, alcohol is not banned for everybody, everywhere at the World Cup. However, it is severely limited. For example, beer sales are restricted to hospitality suites inside stadiums. Those hospitality suites are quite expensive. The prices reach upwards of $1,000 per game, according to the FIFA website.
For everyday fans attending the World Cup, the only location to buy beer will be fan zones around Doha. The Financial Times listed FIFA Fan Festival as an example. The open-floor fan area has a massive screen for fans to watch games. This is the same that Russia used across its cities in 2018. Or, the famous screen and area on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2014.
For Qatar 2022, this type of fan festival is the only spot for fans to buy beer. Even then, estimates on pricing range around $12 for one beer.
Beers added to stadium ban at 2022 World Cup
Previously, Qatar worked to minimize the frequency of alcohol at the World Cup by putting beer tents in more hidden areas of the stadiums. Essentially, if fans could not find the beer, they would not buy the beer. Now, it made a U-turn just hours before the tournament. Beers have a stadium ban for the majority of attendees at the World Cup.
Alcohol is just one of the many points of contention at this year’s World Cup. Consumption of alcohol is strictly monitored and only allowed inside restaurants and hotels where it is outside of street view. With well over 1 million people expected to pour into the country, many will have alcohol consumption on their mind.
Perhaps more notable is Budweiser’s impact. AB InBev, the owner of Budweiser, said the situation is out of the company’s control.
“As partners of FIFA for over three decades, we look forward to World Cup campaigns to celebrate football with our consumers,” a spokesperson of the company said. “Some of the planned stadium activations cannot move forward due to circumstances beyond our control.”
Budweiser also released a now-deleted Tweet that simply read, “Well, this is awkward…”
The World Cup starts on Sunday, Nov. 20, as the hosts, Qatar, take on Ecuador.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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