Qatari Authorities Ban Sale of Alcohol in Stadiums
Following last-minute negotiations, World Cup organizers in Qatar have prohibited the selling of alcohol near stadiums, FIFA reported on Friday.
FIFA and Qatari organizers were involved in late negotiations over whether beer will be offered at the stadiums during the tournament, which starts on Sunday.
FIFA said in a statement: "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 the sales points of beer from Qatar's FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters."
While fans can buy alcohol at the authorized fan zones throughout the competition, however, the availability of beer at the actual games has generated some debate.
At first glance, it seems as though FIFA and sponsors Budweiser reached an understanding to allow alcohol sales at the stadiums. After The New York Times first stated that the beer tents would be less noticeable at the grounds upon request of the hosts, this was later further explained in the lead-up to the competition.
However, it became clear that FIFA was under late pressure to stop alcohol sales at the venues itself, two days before the tournament's hosts Qatar face Ecuador on Sunday.
"There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar's World Cup stadiums," FIFA added.
"Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans."
The World Cup was given to Qatar back in 2010, but even though the competition begins in two days, Qatar is still going through a number of last-minute changes and teething issues.
Around the numerous stadiums, transportation hubs, and fan parks, construction is still going on. Some of the makeshift fan housing has also received harsh criticism in the meanwhile.
There are alternatives that are more lavish, like the ships docked in Doha. Two enormous passenger ships are already waiting for passengers at the Old Port, and a third ship is scheduled to arrive on Friday. In order to supply residents with restaurants and shops, the port has also undergone reconstruction, although on Thursday, there was still finishing touches being put on the building.
The same is true of stadiums and metro hubs, where the structures and grounds are ready for use but the surroundings are still being constructed.
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