Qatar has banned football fans to drink beer at stadiums and the sponsor Budweiser is unhappy over this decision which could be a breach of contract by the country.
Budweiser is reported to be paying FIFA £62.86 million every four years to be a top sponsor, they tweeted today saying, “Well, this is awkward” which was later deleted.
A source told Sky News, “These have been long-term discussions, and the overall feeling from everyone involved was that the stadiums need to be for everyone.
“This World Cup is different to others in that 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 thinking was that, for many fans, the presence of alcohol would not create an enjoyable experience.
“The fan zones will be different in that some are clearly designated as alcohol-serving, while others are alcohol-free.
“Fans can decide where they want to go without feeling uncomfortable. At stadiums, this was previously not the case.”
FIFA said, “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.”
They added, it will, “continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.”
The Football Supporters’ Association blasted Qatar and said, “Some fans like a beer at a game and some don’t, but the real issue is the last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem – the total lack of communication and clarity from the organising committee towards supporters.
“If they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about whether they will fulfil other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”