There’s nothing better than going to a sporting event, and getting absolutely ripshit drunk while watching your favorite team play. Especially, when your country’s honor is on the line.
And let’s be honest, these soccer fans can DRINK.
However, the host country of this year’s World Cup, Qatar, is putting a halt to all the fun…
According to the New York Times,Qatari officials have decided to ban all alcoholic beverages to fans in the stadiums… only a couple of days before the major event.
“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.”
Qatar is a conservative Muslim nation where alcohol sales are tightly controlled, and pretty much relegated to fancy bars and hotels, where… they cost a small fortune.
But of course, if you’re in a luxury suite with the rest of the rich folks and FIFA officials, you’ll be able to get your booze. Beer will also reportedly be available in the fan zones outside of the stadiums.
However, there’s a bigger problem…
FIFA inked a $75 million sponsorship deal with Budweiser to be the official beer of the tournament. It’s branded on the all the beer tents (which were also moved away from the stadiums recently), so I’m thinking Budweiser is gonna want that big ol’ check back.
Not to mention, the move has left organizers scrambling to adjust to the alcohol ban only hours before the tournament begins.
It’s clear that FIFA has no idea what’s going on, and doesn’t have a handle on their own tournament. And we’re not even talking about the fact that Qatar should’ve never been able to host a World Cup in the first place.
The Football Supporters’ Association criticized the decision:
“Some fans like a beer at a game and some don’t, but the real issue is the last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem — the total lack of communication and clarity from the organizing committee toward supporters.
If they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about whether they will fulfill other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”
Needless to say, the situation has created a lot of tension between soccer fans across the world.
BREAKING: Alcohol will no longer be sold around World Cup stadiums in Qatar.