Qatar Debates Selling Alcohol During World Cup

Staff Writer
The Persian state, which limits alcohol sales, may bend the rules for 2022 World Cup

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Soccer fans attending the 2022 World Cup may have to celebrate their teams' wins while sober. Qatar, the host country for the soccer finals, is debating whether to allow alcohol to be sold at stadiums during the tournament.

ABC News reports that alcohol will be allowed in Qatar (a state that has recently moved to ban alcohol sales near its capital). The main issue is where it will be sold in stadiums; one official said he didn't "see the need" for it to be sold in game venues. The main problem with zero booze in the stadiums? Corporate drink sponsors, like Anheuser-Busch InBev, who has already extended their contracts through the 2022 games. FIFA has said it will defend the commercial rights of Budweiser's maker and its other sponsors.

Qatar's not the only World Cup host to experience these booze-related issues. Brazil, set to host the 2012 games, is having trouble overturning a law banning the sale of alcohol in stadiums. The 2018 host, Russia, has a similar law on the books. But Qatar's debate has many throwing their hands up in the air. Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman, said recently the Qatari hosts had "their hands in the sand," and that a World Cup without booze could make European fans stay home.

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