During the FIFA World Cup, the most popular beer in Qatar is Budweiser, which is owned by the Anheuser-Busch InBev corporation. The company has been the official beer sponsor of the World Cup since 1986, and has paid FIFA tens of millions of dollars to sell its beverages at the event. However, Qatar has recently announced a ban on the sale of Bud and other alcoholic beverages in World Cup stadiums.
The ban was announced two days before the start of the World Cup. Fans have been disappointed that they will not be able to buy a mug of froth during 90-minute matches. However, alcohol will still be available at restaurants, bars, and hotels. Alcohol will only be served in licensed establishments, but alcohol-free Bud Zero will be available in stadium concourses.
The beer ban isn’t the only way that Qatar is trying to enforce strict rules on alcohol. The country has also been accused of requiring all shops to close during the weekly Friday prayer, which is a Muslim ritual. The World Cup will kick off on Sunday, with the hosts playing against Ecuador. This is the first time that a Muslim country has hosted the World Cup, and the tournament will be the first of its kind in a country with such strict rules.
Qatar has spent years preparing to host the World Cup, and they have been trying to find a balance between Western fan tastes and their conservative culture. But they have been struggling with the alcohol issue since winning the bid to host the tournament. In a sign of their reluctance to sell beer, the Qatar government recently announced that it will not allow fans to buy Budweiser and other alcoholic beverages inside the country’s eight World Cup stadiums.
Organizers of the World Cup, however, have been trying to find a way to make alcohol more accessible. In September, the Qatar government announced a series of changes to the country’s alcohol laws. They include the creation of a special zone for drunk fans to sober up before heading back to their seats.
FIFA has also been working on plans to move concession outlets out of stadiums. This was expected to happen in the last few months of preparations for the World Cup. However, the FIFA’s official fan guide says that fans will be able to buy alcoholic beverages within the stadium perimeters.
AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, announced that it would be bringing the alcohol-free Bud Zero to the Qatar World Cup. Sadly, it won’t be the beer that most fans will be able to drink. In fact, the alcohol-free Bud Zero is a small fraction of AB InBev’s overall beverage sales. However, it is an indication of the company’s reluctance to give up its lucrative sponsorship deal with FIFA.
As for the beer-sales ban, AB InBev is working with FIFA to relocate concession outlets. Ultimately, the company will have to lose its right to pour Budweiser in Qatar. But it will also lose the on-site promotional benefits it received from its sponsorship.