Soccer fans in Qatar will grab a bud to watch the upcoming World Cup, but it won’t be alcoholic kind.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will begin on Sunday, November 20th, with Ecuador versus Qatar kicking off the festivities.
FIFA announced on Friday, November 18th, just two days before its set to begin, that beer will be BANNED!
Beer Has Been Banned At The World Cup
This means beer with alcohol of any kind will not be sold at any of the eight World Cup stadiums.
However, non-alcoholic beer will be sold during the 64 matches in Qatar.
FIFA released a statement on Friday with the news.
“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 sales points of beer from … stadium perimeters,” the organization said in its statement.
FIFA Enrages Beer-Loving Soccer Fans
As you can imagine, many fans, who have paid top dollar to get to Qatar to represent and watch their country compete, are LIVID.
This includes Budweiser!
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Budweiser, is one of the official World Cup sponsors.
Taking to Twitter on Friday, the official account for Budweiser tweeted-then-deleted the following message, “Well, this is awkward…”
Budwesier Speaks Out About Beer Ban
According to reports, AB InBev pays tens of millions of dollars at each World Cup for exclusive rights to sell beer.
The company had already shipped a majority of its stock from Britain to Qatar with the expectation of selling product to millions of fútbol fans.
Per the New York Post, the beer company’s partnership with FIFA started in 1986. They are already in negotiations to renew their deal for the next World Cup in 2026 which will be held in North America.
Champagne, wine, whiskey and other alcoholic beverages will be sold and served in the luxury hospitality areas of the stadiums.
Beer is normally served outside of the “luxury hospitality areas” to regular ticket holders.
Fans on Twitter sounded off on FIFA’s abrupt announcement.
One person retweeted Budweiser’s since-deleted tweet and wrote, “Budweiser is the beer brand sponsoring the World Cup Qatar just flipped and ruled that no beer is to be sold at the venues This tweet (now deleted) seemed more than fair.”
Budweiser is the beer brand sponsoring the World Cup
Qatar just flipped and ruled that no beer is to be sold at the venues
This tweet (now deleted) seemed more than fair pic.twitter.com/YDb2ItHxEg
— Mihnea Miculescu (@Mihnea) November 18, 2022
Someone else tweeted, “Another reason to boycott the World Cup.”
This person suggested everyone buy Pepsi and simply watch the game.
The tweet got an iconic response.
“Pepsi? England fans don’t drink Pepsi before games 😆,” some replied.
In fact, an English soccer fan spoke to Daily Mail about the ban.
Alex Todd told the outlet, “It’s madness. Why is the World Cup here when basic pleasures are taken from you? I expect this will not go down that well when most of the England fans are here.”
England’s official fan group, The Football Supporter’s Association, released a grievance filled statement.
“Some fans like a beer at the match, and some don’t, but the real issue is the last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem – the total lack of communication and clarity from the organizing committee towards supporters,” it read. “If they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about whether they will fulfill other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”