Going to the World Cup in Qatar in 2022? Might be booze-free

on 16/03/12 at 2:11 pm

Booze News

Qatar is refusing to say whether it will sell alcohol at stadiums during the 2022 World Cup, although a top official said Wednesday he didn’t see the reason for selling it at matches.

Hassan al-Thawadi, general secretary of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said it was an issue that will be discussed with FIFA over the years. He only would say the country was aiming to put on an event where “everyone will be able to have a great time, have fun and be exposed to Qatari culture.”

Qatar, a nation with conservative Muslim traditions but which has a significant population of foreign workers, limits the sale of alcohol mostly to five-star hotels. It doesn’t sell alcohol currently at football matches.

“I don’t see the reason for it being in the stadium,” said al-Thawadi, who noted that several nations including Brazil don’t currently sell it at matches. “I’m looking at it in terms of England and looking at in terms of everybody else. That is something we are discussing with FIFA … Let’s discuss this with relevant stakeholders and come up with a plan that welcomes everyone.”

The issue of alcohol sales in stadiums is not limited to Qatar. It became a hot topic a few months back when FIFA sparred with Brazil over sales at the 2014 World Cup, insisting it wasn’t an issue for debate.

Existing Brazilian law forbids alcohol sales inside stadiums during football matches to cut down on fan violence, but a World Cup ban would upset some of FIFA’s sponsors.

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