Alcohol to be served ‘in select areas’ of stadiums at the World Cup in Qatar
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the first time football’s biggest show will take place in a Muslim country in the Middle East. As the November start date creeps closer, organisers are clarifying the policy on alcohol for the duration of the tournament.
Organisers of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar have confirmed that alcohol will be available for purchase in “select areas” of stadiums.
A 40,000 capacity fan zone in capital city Doha, where fans can also purchase alcohol, has been confirmed, the BBC reports.
ESPN revealed that beer provided by World Cup sponsor Budweiser available in stadiums and in fan zones throughout the tournament, which will kick off on 20 November.
“We want people to come and have experiences they will never forget,” Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al Khater told BBC Sport.
He said that the committee was still finalising its “alcohol strategy”, though this is the first announcement that indicates drinking will be permitted within stadium perimeters.
Meanwhile, the head of Qatar’s safety and security committee has warned travelling fans against attempting to sneaking their own into the country. Revealing that “specific measures” were in place to prevent fans from smuggling their own booze into Qatar, Colonel Jassim Abdulrahim Al Sayed added:
“I think alcohol will not allowed through the airport and suitcases.
“There are locations where alcohol will be sold throughout the country.”
The main fan zone will serve alcohol only after 6.30pm, it has been reported, with Al Khater citing the desire for families to be in an alcohol-free environment during the days.
As for the World Cup’s general alcohol policy, Al Khater said, “There is a misconception about alcohol sales in stadiums and designated zones.
“We are working like any other World Cup, like usual.
“Very simply, we have always stated that the sale of alcohol available in Qatar and will make it available in specific zones.
“The fan fest will serve from 6:30pm, but it will attract a lot of families and children and we want to give them opportunity to be in alcohol-free zone for certain parts of the day. Later, the fans will have alcohol readily available.”
The announcements mark a notable relaxation of the rules in Qatar, where it is illegal to consume alcohol in public, apart from inside licensed hotel bars and restaurants.
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