By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 03 September 2022 • 8:42
Qatar World Cup Sponsors Budweiser - Image UrbanBuss/Shutterstock.com
According to a Reuters source on Saturday, September 3 Soccer Qatar has agreed to allow beer sales from three hours prior to the start of a match and up to an hour following the game.
If indeed true, this news represents a major shift in policy for the Middle Eastern nation where such sales are typically prohibited. Qatar is, however, not a dry country allowing alcohol to be sold to foreign residents with the required permit and for consumption at home. The country also has a few “private clubs” and hotels where visitors can buy a drink.
According to the same source, the beer will be supplied b sponsor Budweiser and will only be available within the confines of the area surrounding the stadium but not in the stands or on the concourse.
Budweiser has according to the same source been given the go-ahead to serve beer in the fan zone between 6:30 pm and 1 am on all 29 days of the tournament which kicks off on November 20. Non-alcoholic beers will apparently also be on sale.
The sale of beer represents a major step for the Muslim country, the first to hold a World Cup. Alcohol is strictly controlled and unruly behaviour associated with drinking is not tolerated, and whilst the sale of beer may be good news for fans it may not be for those who overdo it.
A statement issued by Budweiser brewer AB InBev told Reuters: “We are working closely with FIFA, which is managing the relationship with the Qatari authorities, to ensure our activations for the tournament are executed respectfully and in compliance with local rules and regulations.”
Attempts by Reuters to get confirmation from Qatar’s World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, have yielded little and in particular how Friday games will be handled.
Qatar like most other Muslim nations requires restaurants to be closed for the weekly congregational prayer.
Fans will be pleased to hear beer sales are to be allowed at Qatar World Cup matches, however, authorities have issued cautions saying fans should still respect the laws of the country or they could find themselves in trouble with the law.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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