The first match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 was played on 20 November at the Al Beyat Stadium between Qatar and Ecuador. With 32 teams taking part in the showpiece event, fans from across the globe have travelled to the Middle East to witness the live action. And as is the case with European sports fans, they need to have a glass of beer in their hand while cheering for their team.
But Qatar, a country where the consumption of alcohol is forbidden, has completely banned the sale of alcohol in stadiums during the FIFA tournament. Now, fans showed their displeasure at this decision by chanting “we want beer” during the first match between Ecuador and Qatar. In a video doing the rounds on the internet, Ecuador fans were heard chanting "Queremos cerveza" - which means "We want beer" - during their nation's opening game.
Watch the video here:
Notably, just two days before the start of the tournament, the Qatari royal family made the decision to ban alcohol inside the stadiums. Football's world governing body FIFA announced beer would not be sold to fans around any of the eight World Cup stadiums following discussions with the hosts.
As per reports, fans are able to buy alcohol in fan zones, and individuals are limited to just four drinks each. Alcohol is also available in hospitality boxes at the stadium. FIFA said that beer sales would be focused on fan zone and licensed venues, "removing sales points of beer from Qatar's FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters". It gave no reason for the surprise decision but media reports said there had been an intervention by Qatar's ruling family.
"I think personally if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive," FIFA President Giannis Infantino told his opening press conference in Doha. "The same applies in France, Spain, Scotland," Mr Infantino added.