With days to go before the start of the World Cup, the Qatari hosts are reportedly pressuring Fifa to halt the sale of beer at the tournament’s eight stadiums in what would be a stunning turnaround.
The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, but should be available in the area immediately outside match venues and fan zones, as well as in hotels.
Budweiser is one of Fifa’s biggest sponsors, but was told on Saturday to move stalls selling its products in stadiums to less prominent locations.
The Times reports that Qatar 2022 now wants to go even further and talks are ongoing between Fifa and Budweiser. A decision is expected on Friday, but it is thought beer could be banned at all stadiums.
Budweiser remains one of Fifa’s key partners and if denied the chance to sell beer or have any visibility at World Cup matches, football’s governing body would be in breach of contract of several million dollars.
Fifa and Budweiser owner AB InBev have been approached for comment.
In response to the request to relocate its outlets, AB InBev told Sky News: “AB InBev was notified on November 12 and is working with Fifa to relocate the concession outlets to the locations indicated. We work with Fifa to provide the best possible experience for fans. Our goal is to provide the best possible customer experience under the new circumstances.
If the beer ban continues, the only place fans can drink alcohol will be at a designated fan park, where Budweiser has already revealed a 500ml drink will cost fans the pretty price of £11, £60.
A few hotel bars usually charge between £12 and £15 for a beer or glass of wine.
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