This year’s World Cup, being held for the first time in a Muslim country with strict alcohol restrictions, is sponsored by major beer brands and often presents unique challenges for beer-drinking fans and related event organizers. increase.
“Beer is available when the gates open three hours before kick-off. It’s available to anyone who wants a beer. And the same applies when you leave the stadium one hour after the final whistle.” An informant said.
In addition, Budweiser will be allowed to serve beer in part of the main FIFA fanzone in central Doha from 6:30pm to 1:00am each day of the 29-day tournament starting November 20. a source said.
At previous World Cup competitions, beer was served all day in the fanzone.
Decisions about when and where the beer will be sold to fans are currently being finalized, but the price fans will charge for the beer is still under discussion, sources said.
“We are working closely with FIFA, which manages our relationship with Qatar authorities, to ensure that tournament activations are carried out with respect and in compliance with local rules and regulations,” said Budweiser Brewery. A spokeswoman for the company AB InBev said in an email. .
Qatar’s World Cup organizer, the Supreme Commission for Shipping and Heritage, did not respond to a request for comment on the World Cup’s alcohol regulations. The Qatari government press has sent a request to the Supreme Committee.
Four matches are scheduled on most days of the tournament’s group stage, with the earliest kicking off at 1pm.
How Qatar handles the sale of beer as most of Qatar’s Muslims gather at a mosque for weekly congregational prayers ahead of the Welsh-Iran match at 1pm on Friday, November 25. It was not immediately clear.
Qatar now requires most shops and restaurants in the country to close during Friday prayers.
Questions have swirled about the role alcohol will play in this year’s World Cup ever since Qatar won the hosting rights in 2010. While it is not a “dry” state like neighboring Saudi Arabia, Qatar does not drink alcohol in public places. of alcohol consumption is illegal.
Tourists cannot bring alcohol into Qatar, even in duty-free shops at airports, nor can they buy alcohol at the country’s only liquor store outside Doha. Only licensed foreign residents are allowed to shop at home.
Visitors can drink at dozens of licensed hotels and clubs, where a pint of beer costs $18.
Budweiser plans to sell non-alcoholic Budweiser Zero on stadium concourses, in the stands during games and on other fan sites, sources said.
An AB InBev spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement: “We always respect the local customs and culture of the markets in which we operate or host events.
“The promotion and activation of Budweiser Zero during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar targets international guests who come to enjoy and celebrate football on our fan site.”