Qatar Bans Alcohol Sales at World Cup in Last Second Decision

Qatar Bans Alcohol Sales at World Cup in Last Second Decision

World Cup 2022 in Qatar

The World Cup

The 2022 World Cup is just about on us (kick off for the first game will be the hosts Qatar facing Ecuador). Hosts Qatar will open the tournament with a Group A match against Ecuador on Sunday 20th November at 19:00 local time (16:00 GMT/UTC) (or 7:00PM local and 4:00PM EST) in Doha at Al Bayt Stadium.

This is the USMNT’s (United States Men’s National Team) first appearance back in the World Cup after missing the last one (2018) in Russia. Christian Pulisic (Jackass Brewery Announces Pulisic Pilsner – See Article Here) is leading the charge for the men’s team. Local boy to The Beer Thrillers (from Hershey, PA), who we’ve met several times (we were very good friends with his father Mark Pulisic from the Harrisburg Heat, as well as his mother Kelly Pulisic, who my mother actually helped get the paperwork for her to become a teacher) is the biggest asset and piece for the USMNT going into this World Cup.

Interestingly enough, Christian Pulisic has just started commercials ahead of the World Cup promoting Michelob Ultra.

But… seems like there won’t be any Michelob Ultra – or any beer – at the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar Bans Alcohol Sales

As Washington Post just stated in an article twenty minutes ago:

Qatar isn’t a dry country, but the government curtails alcohol sales at almost all restaurants that aren’t associated with a high-end hotel or resort. World Cup organizers had said tourists will be able to drink in designated fan zones within stadiums, but reversed those plans two days before the first game.

Qatar’s Controversial $300 Billion World Cup Is Almost Here: Q&A

Qatar’s Controversial $300 Billion World Cup Is Almost Here: Q&A

As per Sky News:

The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, and is only allowed in the Muslim nation within hotel bars and restaurants away from street view. It had to relax its alcohol restrictions to allow FIFA sponsor Budweiser to sell its products outside match venues and fan zones.

Qatar World Cup: Beer to be banned from all stadiums – except for corporate spectators

There is a bit of a misconception that Qatar is a full dry country. But as these articles stated, its not exactly a dry country, but a very governmental strict ‘banning’ or ‘restrictive’ dryness. Qatar is a constitutional monarchy headed by Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al- Thani. The 2005 constitution provides for hereditary rule by the emir’s male branch of the al-Thani family.

So I think you can somewhat read between the lines on the form of government on that.

Leading up to the World Cup there was lots of talk about alcohol and if beer and liquor would be served at the World Cup games. Almost flip flopping articles were coming out from The New York Times, Washington Post, ESPN, The BBC, Reuters, etc; discussing if they were or weren’t going to be allowing beer and alcohol sales.

The different World Cup Stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Ahead of the tournament itself, in some of the friendlies, Budweiser was served at small, remote locations on the stadium’s venues. But it appears, that just two days ahead of the World Cup itself they’ve reversed their decision and are now banning the beer.

World Cup organisers have banned the sale of alcohol around stadiums in Qatar after last-minute showdown talks, FIFA announced on Friday.

First reported by British newspaper The Times, FIFA and Qatari organisers were engaged in late negotiations over whether beer would be sold at the stadiums during the tournament, which begins on Sunday.

ESPN: Qatar bans alcohol at World Cup stadiums in late reversal

ESPN has picked up the article mainly stemming from the British newspaper The Times. Stating that main negotiations are between Budweiser through FIFA and with the Qatar government.

FIFA said in a statement: “Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing the sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.”

While supporters can purchase alcohol at the official fan zones during the competition, the sale of beer at the matches themselves has been a controversial topic.

It appeared an agreement was originally struck to allow FIFA to permit sponsors Budweiser to sell beer at the stadiums. This was then further clarified in the buildup to the tournament after The New York Times first reported that the beer tents would be less visible at the grounds on request of the hosts.

But it emerged there was late pressure on FIFA to halt sales of alcohol at the stadiums themselves, two days before hosts Qatar kick off the tournament on Sunday against Ecuador.

“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums,” FIFA added.

“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.

“The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”

ESPN: Qatar bans alcohol at World Cup stadiums in late reversal

Just a few minutes ago, Budweiser (through AB InBev) tweeted the following:

Well, this is awkward…— Budweiser (@Budweiser) November 18, 2022

This tweet has since been deleted.

Qatar Hosting Controversies

To say Qatar is a controversial FIFA World Cup host is… well.. an understatement in the minimum. Allegations of bribery, scandals, work arounds, and all kinds of corruption and lies to get the tournament to Qatar have surfaced. One of their initial pitches in 2009 / 2010 were “clouds”. These were supposed to be floating platforms that would hang above the stadiums, similar to drones but on a massive scale, and would push cold air down onto the players and fans, and expel the hot air upwards. Obviously, this technology has never come to fruition.

The selection of Qatar to host this year’s FIFA World Cup brought cheers to the streets of Doha in a celebration of the first edition of the tournament to be held in the Arab world.

But the choice, made in 2010, also sparked instant criticism – over the logistics of holding a sporting event in a country where summertime temperatures regularly top 100 degrees; over allegations of bribery and corruption among FIFA officials who voted for Qatar; and over concerns about human rights abuses that have persisted in the years since.

Now, with the World Cup days away, the Gulf country is expecting the arrival of more than a million fans. And billions more will tune in to watch the tournament’s 64 games. Yet the controversies have not subsided.

Recently, even the former head of FIFA called the selection of Qatar a mistake.

“It was a bad choice. And I was responsible for that as president at the time,” said Sepp Blatter, whose term as FIFA administrator ended in 2015 amid a bribery scandal.

Why Qatar is a controversial host for the World Cup

Two More Days

2022 World Cup Stadium – Qatar

We are just two more days to the kick off of one of the biggest and fun events that only happens every four years. As a soccer fan I love the World Cup, the history, the games, etc. I remember watching the 1998 tournament and being so engrossed when it was held here in America. And I am eagerly anticipating the 2026 World Cup in North America. Hopefully will get to a game (can’t wait to see how ridiculous the prices will be).

Here’s to hoping that the United States Men’s Team gets it all together and gets a good push and run going. We are in Group B with Wales, England, and Iran. England should be the hardest competition in the group to us. Hopefully we can win out of the group, but second in the group should be at least attainable.

Further Information

In Other News

Recent local beer news:

  • Jackass Brewery Announces Pulisic Pilsner


Its still November (obviously) and that means I’m still doing the 30 for 30. So be sure to check back here, and check out the other November articles. Lots of interesting stuff, from Yards Brewing Paying Up on their Wager, to Beer Reviews, to a Hike Review, to the birth of our daughter Scarlet Emma, to brewery news, World Cup news (like this article), Pour Man’s Brewing Moving Their Tap Room, brewfest events like Auto and Ales, Brewsgiving, and Burley Oak’s Controlled Chaos, etc. Thank you for all reading!

Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading everyone! Things have certainly been a bit hectic here at The Beer Thrillers Headquarters. Spent from 11.09.22 til 11.16.22 in the hospital with getting Scarlet Emma born. …Oh yea, did I mention we had a kid? Thats kinda big news huh? Scarlet Emma was born at 5:52PM on 11.11.22 (Kurt Vonnegut’s 100th Birthday). November is usually a busy month anyway, with Autos and Ales, with Thanksgiving, with me doing my version of NaNoWriMo; where I try and write an article a day for the entire month. So its a very busy month here at The Beer Thrillers, especially now with the introduction of a new baby into our lives. But what a great addition! Wouldn’t change that for anything.

I do want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to congratulate us on Facebook, Instagram, etc. It means a lot!

And I of course, want to say thank you to everyone who has read any of our articles, commented, liked, shared, subscribed, followed, etc. It means so much to us here at The Beer Thrillers!

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Thanks for reading everyone!


-B. Kline

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