FIFA World Cup via FIFA YouTube

Qatar Reverses Course, Bans Beer Sales At World Cup Stadiums Just Days Ahead Of FIFA World Cup 2022

FIFA announced that the State of Qatar will no longer allow the sale of beer at World Cup Stadiums during the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

FIFA World Cup via FIFA YouTube

A FIFA press release stated, “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, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.”

The press release also detailed, “There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums. Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.”

It concluded, “The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™️.

FIFA World Cup via FIFA YouTube

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This announcement to fully ban beer sales at the stadiums comes just days after AB InBev, the parent company of Budweiser, revealed that they would be relocating their concession stands and outlets to less prominent locations around the World Cup Stadiums.

A spokesman for the company told the Associated Press less than a week ago, “AB InBev was informed on November 12 and are working with FIFA to relocate the concession outlets to locations as directed. We are working with FIFA to bring the best possible experience to the fans.”

Budweiser Zero via LifeandtimesJL YouTube

FIFA had recently arranged a deal in September with Qatari tournament organizers to allow the sale of beer in the stadiums.

The Associated Press detailed this deal allowed attendees to purchase beer within the stadiums at special stands and outlets before and after the games. Beer was not going to be sold at concourse concession stands.

FIFA World Cup via FIFA YouTube

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As for why this sudden change in policy, an anonymous source informed the South China Morning Post, “A larger number of fans are attending from across the Middle East and South Asia, where alcohol doesn’t play such a large role in the culture.”

The source added, “The thinking was that, for many fans, the presence of alcohol would not create an enjoyable experience.”

Budweiser Zero via Budweiser YouTube

A report from Bloomberg in early November indicated Budweiser was expecting to sell more beer during the tournament than the country consumes within a year. In fact, the report goes on to note that AB InBev had to get creative with their supply line as they do not have any breweries in the region and Qatar’s temperatures stay above 95 degrees Fahrenheit in October.

AB InBev’s Chief Supply Officer stated, “We manage our supply chain very closely for the amount of time that it takes for products to get from point A to point B, and then also the conditions under which they’re shipped preserve the taste of the beer.”

Yahoo! Sports reports that AB InBev shelled out “$75 million in exchange to what amounts to rescinded pouring rights and various on-site promotional perks in the company’s tenth stint as a global World Cup sponsor.”

FIFA World Cup Stadium in Qatar via FIFA YouTube

What do you make of Qatari tournament organizers shutting down the sale of beer within the World Cup Stadiums?

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