Qatar is causing a stir with its beer measure

Beer is a popular alcoholic drink among football fans at the stadium.Image: dpa / Bernd Thissen

Helen Kleinschmidt

The World Cup in Qatar kicks off on Sunday this year and hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world are expected. In the Arabian desert emirate, however, they have to adapt to rules that probably do not apply in their homeland. For example, there is a ban on sex as long as you are not married, homosexuality cannot be lived openly – and fans are not allowed to take off their jerseys or T-shirts in the stadium.

What will probably affect football fans the most are the rules regarding alcohol consumption. The official website of the World Cup in Qatar states: “Alcohol is not part of the local culture, but hospitality is. Alcohol will be on sale for fans who want to enjoy it.”

Actually, it was now clear where and how to buy it. Now, however, there are signs of short-term changes in alcohol serving.

Belgium v ‚Äč‚ÄčTunisia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Soccer World Cup - Group G - Spartak Stadium A fan enjoys a beer in the stands before the match, for editorial use only.  No commercial use.  Not to be used with a...

Budweiser is once again the beer sponsor of the World Cup this year.Image: IMAGO/PA Images

World Cup 2022: beer taps have been moved

At the beginning of September, FIFA and the World Cup organizers announced that they had reached a compromise: beer may only be served before and after the games, while alcohol consumption is prohibited. There are also certain zones where beer can be sold and consumed.

The “New York Times” now reports that the Qatari royal family has issued instructions to make alcohol serving less public. Stands already set up by Fifa’s beer sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, have already been moved to more inconspicuous places. The brewery serves the Budweiser brand.

The conversion can be seen in a video posted by a Twitter user:

World Cup 2022: FIFA confirms beer stand conversion

According to the “Sportschau”, the World Cup Organizing Committee and FIFA have confirmed that event managers are currently “improving requirements in the stadiums”. That would “directly affect the location of certain fan areas”. But: “The serving times and the number of places where it is served remain the same.”

The American brewery Anheuser-Busch also reacted. Together with FIFA, she is working “to move the points of sale to the desired locations. Our focus is on providing the best possible customer experience under the new conditions”.

No general alcohol ban in Qatar

Unlike neighboring Saudi Arabia, there is no general alcohol ban in Qatar. However, it is only served in licensed bars or restaurants in certain hotels. Foreigners can also buy it in stores, but must be over 21 years old, need an additional permit, and reside permanently in Qatar.

Buying alcohol in shops is therefore difficult for World Cup fans.

Anett Sattler will moderate the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 39-year-old is in front of MagentaTV’s camera – and only there can you really see all the matches of the World Cup.

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