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World Cup: Beer Won’t Be Sold at Stadiums in Qatar

    World Cup: Beer Won’t Be Sold at Stadiums in Qatar
    Last updated: 1 week ago
    Image credit: cbs

    Facts

    • Just two days before the start of the World Cup, Qatari officials have decided to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beer at games during the month-long event. [1]
    • Soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, confirmed that alcohol won't be sold at the eight stadiums that host the tournament’s 64 matches, which run from Nov. 20 - Dec. 18. [2]
    • England's Football Supporters' Association said the decision raises concerns about Qatar's ability to fulfill its promises to visiting fans on "accommodation, transport, or cultural issues," criticizing the last-minute nature of the decision. [3]
    • Budweiser, a key sponsor of the World Cup since 1986, has spent tens of millions of dollars for the exclusive right to sell their product at the tournament and has already spent weeks negotiating with the Qatari government regarding the sale of beer. [4]
    • Fans, however, can still purchase beer and other alcoholic beverages at Fan Zones around the city, as well as at hotels, bars, and clubs. [5]
    • Qatar's hosting of the World Cup has been mired by controversy, especially regarding the country's policies toward LGBTQ+ rights and labor practices. Qatar has defended itself by saying it's open to everyone; it just asks visitors to respect the local culture and traditions. [6]
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    Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The Qatari leadership is outdoing itself in terms of creating bad press for the country. Besides the fact that beer is a near essential for football matches, the last-minute decision is inconsiderate to fans, FIFA, and advertisers. This sort of lack of communication won't do Qatar any favors, especially considering the country's controversial treatment of LGBTQ+ people and migrant workers.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The West continues to apply a double standard to Muslim Arab nations, as countries like France — notorious for its racism, xenophobia, and anti-Muslim sentiments — have the nerve to criticize Qatar while ignoring its own prejudice. Qatar is a conservative country, and all it asks is for visitors to respect that.

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