World Cup ticket holders will have access to alcohol as beer will be sold strictly at FIFA Fan Festivals before kick-off and after the final whistle, FIFA said in a statement sent to Doha News.
“FIFA has been working on the experience for local and international fans during the FIFA World Cup 2022, including catering for those who wish to enjoy an alcoholic drink while being respectful towards the local culture,” the statement read.
“Where the FIFA World Cup stadiums are concerned, ticket holders will have access to Budweiser, Budweiser Zero and Coca-Cola products within the stadium perimeter prior to kick-off and after the final whistle,” it added.
“Inside the stadium bowl ticket holders will have access to non-alcoholic Budweiser Zero and the full range of Coca-Cola products. At the FIFA Fan Festival, Budweiser will be available to purchase from 6.30pm, and Budweiser Zero and Coca-Cola products throughout the day”.
Currently, alcohol is already available in selected places in Qatar, such as bars and hotels with a licence.
Qatar’s World Cup, the first to be hosted in a Muslim country, has raised questions on alcohol. The FIFA statement appears to quell those concerns, highlighting the consumption of alcohol will be tolerated but with close-knit authority.
Previous World Cup tournaments allowed alcohol to be served in fan zones all day, however some tournaments have limited the consumption of alcohol inside stadiums.
Public drunkenness, or “a drunk and disorderly” offence, is not allowed in Qatar.
In an interview with Channel News Asia (CNA), Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani earlier this month answered a question on alcohol saying there are designated areas in the country for those hoping to drink.
“We would like them [fans] to come and to enjoy the football and enjoy our culture and experience. In the stadiums, alcohol will not be allowed,” he said.
In Qatar, both visitors and residents cannot carry alcohol into the country. However, only foreign residents can purchase liquor from the Qatar Distribution Company (QDC), the country’s only legal liquor store.
While the prices of alcoholic beverages in the country are deemed to be extremely high compared to other countries, Qatar officials have yet to publicise the prices of beverages for those attending the World Cup.
More details are expected to be disclosed to the public regarding beverages ahead of the World Cup.
More than one million fans are expected to flock to the Gulf state for the World Cup between November and December, with some visiting the Middle East for the first time. Tickets for flights, accommodation and hotel rooms have already started booking up across the Gulf region.