Following Qatar’s recent confirmation that alcohol will not be permitted inside stadiums for FIFA World Cup 2022 events, a number of sponsors felt ‘betrayed’ and upset. Fans from all across the world have voiced their strong disapproval of the decision, and sponsors are also allegedly not pleased. FIFA president Gianni Infantino claimed that his organisation ‘worked to the last’ to persuade the Qatari government to permit alcohol sales inside the stadium during the World Cup. However, their attempts were unsuccessful since the orthodox Muslim country got its way.
Prior to this week, Qatar reversed its prior decision to allow alcohol sales inside stadiums during games. Speaking candidly about the unexpected restriction on alcohol at stadiums, Infantino asserted that spectators could go three hours without drink. Opening up about Qatar’s decision to forbid alcohol inside the stadiums, Infantino stated, ‘We tried to the end to see whether it was feasible’.
‘You can go without a beer for three hours a day and yet thrive. Perhaps there is a justification for the alcohol restriction in stadiums in France, Spain, and Scotland. They may be more intellectual than we are, having considered whether or not we should be doing that’, he said. Even though alcohol will not be allowed inside the stadium, spectators may still enjoy beer in the evenings at the ‘FIFA Fan Festival’. Live music and other activities will be available at the Fan Festival, a special area created to appeal to the fans.
‘Following negotiations between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been reached to focus the sale of alcoholic drinks on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations, and licenced venues, eliminating beer sales points from… stadium perimeters,’ FIFA said in a statement. The largest football spectacular is set to draw millions of spectators from all over the world to Qatar in the coming days. Although the nation has made certain provisions for visiting fans, there are still rigorous laws and guidelines in place regarding alcohol use in the nation.