Qatar is the first Arab and Muslim country to host the FIFA World Cup.
World Cup stadiums in Qatar will not sell alcohol to fans during the tournament, a FIFA source familiar with the matter confirmed to Doha News on Friday, in a move designed to crackdown on hooliganism and promote responsible drinking.
The decision was confirmed by FIFA in an official statement shared online.
“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,” the statement said.
“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.”
The decision comes after Doha News had reported earlier this week that beer stalls were being displayed in less prominently in stadiums, as authorities were concerned about safety and security.
The newest plan means the brewer’s red tents will not be visible at all inside stadium grounds.
Refrigerators in the company’s famous red colours are likely to be replaced by blue ones, the colour associated with Budweiser’s nonalcoholic brand, Budweiser Zero.
Qatar, the first Muslim nation in history to host the FIFA World Cup, had previously agreed to allow fans to get alcohol within a security perimeter outside venues but not inside the stadium bowls for a few hours before and after the matches.
While the move is likely to complicate FIFA’s $75 million sponsorship agreement with Budweiser and its parent company Ab InBev, it appears security for fans attending matches has been prioritised.
The FIFA statement noted “the tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022”.
Despite this, other drinking options remains available for fans.
Non alcoholic Budweiser will be sold in stadiums and alcohol can be found in other areas of the country, including at hotel bars, clubs and fan zones.