Qatar Bans the Sale of Beer at FIFA World Cup Stadiums

In what appears to be a response to the news, Budweiser’s official Twitter account wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “Well, this is awkward…”

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Just days before the world’s biggest soccer tournament begins, Qatar reversed its decision to allow the sale of alcohol at 2022 World Cup stadiums. The last-minute change will affect Budweiser, which has been a sponsor of the event since 1986, as it has already spent millions of dollars for exclusive rights to sell beer and shipped a majority of its stock from Britain to Qatar.

In what appears to be a response to the news, Budweiser’s official Twitter account wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “Well, this is awkward…”

Qatar initially agreed to allow the sale of alcoholic drinks when it won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010 and stood by its commitment when it signed the contract. In September 2022, Qatar said it would allow fans with tickets to buy any beer three hours before the kickoff and one hour after the final whistle, but not during any matches.

The Football Supporters’ Association, the national representative body for football fans in England and Wales, has condemned the new decision and said, “Some fans like a beer at the match, and some don’t, but the real issue is the last minute U-turn which is speaks to a wider problem — the total lack of communications and clarity from the organizing committee towards the supporters.”

While fans won't be able to buy beer, other alcoholic drinks, such as Champagne, wine, and whiskey, will be served in the luxury hospitality areas of the arenas, according to the Associated Press.

Consuming alcohol in Qatar is not illegal as long as it's not done in public places, but the sales of it is highly controlled and limited to hotel bars and restaurants.