Qatar Pivots Last Minute And Makes Devastating Change To The World Cup’s Alcohol Policy

Qatar Makes Devastating Change To The World Cup's Alcohol Policy

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As if the 2022 World Cup in Qatar wasn’t already shaping up to be a disaster, things just got worse for both the folks in charge at FIFA and on the ground in Qatar, as the country has announced — just days before the tournament was set to begin — that alcoholic beverages will not be sold at stadiums.

The decision comes after weeks of speculation about how the Middle East nation would be handling the sale of alcohol and now soccer fans have their answer: only a nonalcoholic beer will be sold at World Cup venues. The move also complicates FIFA’s sponsorship deal with global beer supplier Budweiser.

“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,” FIFA announced in a official statement. The decision, it said, would mean “removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.”

The decision to ban beer comes a week after an earlier edict that dozens of red beer tents bearing Budweiser’s branding be moved to more discreet locations at the World Cup’s eight stadiums, away from where most of the crowds attending games would pass. [via The New York Times]

This is simply the latest controversy surrounding the 2022 World Cup, which has been marred by dilapidated “fan zone” accommodations, strict laws about homophobia and drinking, rumors of match-fixing, journalists being accosted, and, of course, reports that thousands of migrant workers died while building the stadia. The tournament hasn’t even started yet and it’s already an unmitigated disaster, and frankly, FIFA deserves it.

The 2022 World Cup will kick off on Sunday, November 20 with a match between Qatar and Ecuador. The United States Men’s National Team will play their first game of the tournament on Monday, November 21 against Wales before taking on England on Black Friday.

RELATED: Compelling Conspiracy Theory Suggests The Qatar World Cup Is Hiring Paid Actors To Be Fans

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Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him eric@brobible.com