Qatar have decided on new relaxed rules governing the sale and consumption of alcohol ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar, a Muslim state, has strict rules on a lot of things including leisurely drinking. The nation allows alcohol to be sold only to expats at a premium on the permission of their employers.
Meanwhile, football is a sport that is enjoyed by partying fans who like to indulge in alcohol while they watch their favourite teams play. This means that Qatar will be expecting a lot of these fans who will be travelling to support their teams as they do battle for football’s most prestigious prize.
The local organising committee of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar have already made fan parks available where fans can gather and indulge in alcohol if they so desire, but these fan parks are few and will not service the teeming crowd expected in the country from November.
They have now gone one further by getting the government of Qatar to relax the rules governing the sale and consumption of alcohol in the country, which will now allow for more venues outside the select hotels which cater to expats and the fan parks to sell alcohol.
Fans will now be able to buy beer from a select number of beach clubs and kiosks within the stadium grounds, but not in the stands themselves, per latest reports.
Berthold Trenkel, chief operating officer for Qatar Tourism, told British outlet The Mirror that fans will “be able to buy beer once they are inside the perimeter of the stadiums” but there will be “zero alcohol” within the stadiums.
Budweiser is the official beer sponsor for the tournament. A pint of the brand will sell for £6 throughout the duration of the event. However, Qatar have imposed a “sin” tax to serve as a deterrent against heavy drinking as it will affect the price of alcohol sold during the tournament.
Fans have also been encouraged to respect the country’s locals and their traditions in relation to drinking, especially the local laws which condemn consumption of alcohol in public.