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Qatar bans beer sales at World Cup stadiums two days before start of tournament; FIFA responds

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Less than a week ago, World Cup organizers had to tell FIFA’s main sponsor Budweiser that their alcohol tents had to be moved to less visible places. On Thursday, just three days before the start of the games in Qatar, The Times reported the beer is “likely” to be banned from all eight stadiums at the request of the Qatari royal family.

Just a day later, on Friday morning, FIFA released a statement confirming the Times report.

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“Following negotiations between the host country authorities and FIFA, it has been decided to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages at the FIFA Fan Fest, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing beer outlets from the perimeter of the Qatar Stadium, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “, FIFA said in a statement. “This will not affect the sale of Bud Zero, which will remain available in all World Cup stadiums in Qatar.”

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This is a rather belated decision before fighting breaks out in Qatar on November 20th. Notably, before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA demanded that the country change its laws to allow the sale of beer in stadiums. The then President Dilma Rousseff signed a bill authorizing this salealong with other new rules for the World Cup.

Prior to this, the sale of beer at football matches in Brazil had been banned since 2003 to prevent violence at matches.

While technically alcohol is not banned in Qatar, it is highly regulated. If Budweiser fails to be visible during games, FIFA could be in breach of its multi-million dollar contract with Budweiser, a company that has had a relationship with FIFA since 1985.

Want more World Cup coverage? Listen below and follow House of ChampionsCBS Sports’ daily football podcast bringing you top-notch analysis, commentary, predictions and more during the big games in Qatar.

Prior to the latest restrictions, beer was expected to be sold in stadiums for about $14 each, and a limit of four drinks per order was put in place to try to limit drunkenness. as previously reported by The Guardian. Qatar has a zero tolerance policy for drinking alcohol in public places and being drunk in public.

There are five fan zones throughout Qatar which include performances, food, alcohol and other entertainment. Entrance to the zones is free, matches will also be broadcast on huge screens in each of the zones. If the fans seem too drunk they will be sent to separate zones to sober upalthough it is not yet known how this will work.

At the stadium, beer will only be available in gift boxes, where other types of alcohol such as wine and spirits will also be served to those who can afford it. according to Bloomberg.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is due to start on November 20 and run until December 18. To view the full schedule, click here.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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