FIFA World Cup: Qatar reverses decision on selling alcohol in stadiums 2 days before games begin
Qatar banned the sale of alcoholic beer from its World Cup tournament just days before the event is set to begin.
Beer sales have been banned at the eight tournament stadiums just two days before the worldwide competition commences, according to a statement from organizer FIFA.
“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,” FIFA said in a statement.
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Qatar consented to FIFA's basic commercial conditions for hosting the World Cup, which includes allowing the sale of alcohol, over a decade ago.
Luxury accommodations at the stadium — reserved for the highest-paying and most well-connected attendees — are expected to retain access to champagne, wine, and liquors.
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Budweiser is a key sponsor of the World Cup since 1986 and has spent tens of millions of dollars for the exclusive right to sell their product at the tournament.
The beer juggernaut has already conceded the right to sell alcohol to fans in the stadium seating and has argued back and forth with the Qatar government on the location of beer stalls for weeks.
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Qatar is an autocratic, hereditary monarchy under the control of emirs from the House of Thani.
The current emir is Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who has received international attention for his interest in promoting Qatar's involvement in international sporting events.
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