Drunk fans at the Qatar World Cup will be sent to ‘sober zones’
As the start of the World Cup in Qatar edges closer, confusion remains among some as to the rules surrounding alcohol consumption. But with football’s biggest show heading to a Muslim country in the Middle East for the first time, what do fans need to know about alcohol laws throughout the 28-day tournament?
The sale of alcohol in Qatar will be permitted in specially designated fan zones and outside stadiums as part of the World Cup, a change in law for the predominantly Muslim country, where public alcohol consumption is usually restricted.
And in a bid to temper incidence of large gatherings of inebriated people, Qatar’s World Cup chief executive, Nasser Al Khater, revealed to Sky News that the country will set up designated ‘sober zones’ for fans.
“There are plans in place for people to sober up if they’ve been drinking excessively.
“It’s a place to make sure that they keep themselves safe, they’re not harmful to anybody else.”
Per ESPN, the zones are, in effect, a “sobering tent” where fans will stay until they have been judged as sufficiently clear headed. They will then be released with a warning.
Meanwhile, Al Khater insisted that LGBTQIA+ football fans would not be discriminated against. In Qatar, same-sex relationships are not recognised and can be punishable by law.
“All we ask is for people to be respectful of the culture,” Al Khater said. “At the end of the day, as long as you don’t do anything that harms other people, if you’re not destroying public property, as long as you’re behaving in a way that’s not harmful, then everybody’s welcome and you have nothing to worry about.”
Mr Al Khater told Sky News that 95% of tickets for the Qatar World Cup have now been sold, with fans attending matches in eight purpose-built stadiums situated around Doha.