2022 Qatar World Cup has been fraught with controversy from the beginning. The bidding process was full of fraud, fraud so serious that it resulted in criminal indictments all over the world. FIFA’s leadership had to change, too, as the fraud gripped the world. Then came the alleged human rights abuses, alleged LGBTQ+ issues, and alleged worker deaths.
Then there’s the issue of broken promises. The games were supposed to be held in the summer months, as the World Cup always has. Yet, it will be in the winter. The stadiums were supposed to have advanced climate control inside of them to counteract the hot desert temperatures. They do not have what was promised. And, alcohol access around stadiums was to be guaranteed. But, that is changing.
Qatar has banned alcohol sales around the World Cup Stadiums
With just over 50 hours remaining before the tournament kicks off, the Qatari government is issuing a stunning reversal, according to the New York Times.
Breaking News: Qatar abruptly reversed its beer policy for the World Cup, and will sell only a nonalcoholic option at stadiums, an official familiar with the plan said. The move will complicate FIFA’s $75 million sponsorship agreement with Budweiser.https://t.co/nh3ZApVzfS
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 18, 2022
The article reads, in part:
Beer is out at the World Cup.
In an abrupt about-face, Qatari officials have decided that the only alcohol that will be on sale to fans at stadiums during the monthlong World Cup will be nonalcoholic.
The decision on beer sales was confirmed on Friday morning by a World Cup official familiar with the change in plans. The official asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak with the news media, and because Qatar was still preparing its official announcement on Friday morning.
The move is the latest and most dramatic change to an evolving alcohol plan that has for months increased tensions between FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, and Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation where the sale of alcohol is tightly controlled. But it also will complicate FIFA’s $75 million sponsorship agreement with Budweiser; infuriate fans already chafing at restrictions; and once again leave organizers scrambling to adjust — this time only 48 hours before the tournament’s opening game.
This is a shocking reversal, and FIFA’s $75 million contract with Budweiser to sell beer is now in serious jeopardy. It’s an absolute disaster for FIFA, who appears to be out of control of the tournament.
I’m sure there will be more twists and turns over the next month.