Qatar pushes for ban on alcohol sales in World Cup stadiums

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Host Qatar is pressuring Fifa to stop beer sales at its eight World Cup stadiums, reports show.

The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, but it will be available in the area immediately outside competition venues and fan zones, as well as in hotels.

Budweiser is one of FIFA’s biggest sponsors, but was told on Saturday it would have to move the stalls selling its product in stadiums to less prominent locations.

The Times reports that Qatar 2022 now wants to go even further and talks are underway between FIFA and Budweiser. The PA news agency has approached FIFA and Budweiser owner AB InBev for comment.

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In response to the request to move its outlets, AB InBev told Sky News: “AB InBev was notified on 12 November and is working with FIFA to move the concession outlets to locations as indicated.

“We are working with FIFA to provide the best possible experience for fans. Our focus is on delivering the best possible consumer experience under the new circumstances.”

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It has been confirmed elsewhere that FIFA is selling hospitality packages to attend its “fan festival” in Qatar – and stay out of the scorching sun – for a whopping £960 a day.

Gerdine Lindhout, Fifa’s head of experiential marketing and promotion, said of the fan festival: “This is the best place to be when you’re not in the stadium. It’s going to be a multi-dimensional, festival-like experience. It’s not just about football, it’s about gaming, lifestyle and great food. We decided to go big in Doha.”

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On the issue of heat, she added: “It sure is hot, but there are plenty of shaded areas and we have plenty of refreshing drinks, so I don’t see a problem there. People need to use their common sense – and dress for the heat .” occasion. Wear your shorts, wear something light and enjoy a refreshing drink.”