'You will survive' - FIFA President addresses fans' negative reaction to alcohol ban in Qatar during World Cup 2022

The first match of the competition will be played between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor.

Abhishek SandikarAuthor

Updated - 19 November 2022 09:45 PM

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The biggest football tournament is just hours as FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off on November 20. The first match of the competition will be played between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor. Qatar as a host for the tournament has led to extra media coverage, especially for its decision to ban beer sales around football stadiums.


FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Saturday addressed the ban on beer and expressed that football fans ‘can survive’ without beer for three hours. He then went on to give examples of alcohol bans in stadiums across Spain, France and Scotland. 


"We tried until the end to see whether it was possible," Infantino said of allowing alcohol sales. "If for 3 hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive. Maybe there is a reason why in France, in Spain, in Scotland, alcohol is banned in stadiums. Maybe they are more intelligent than us, having thought maybe we should be doing that.”


On Friday, Qatari authorities announced a ban on the sale of beer around football stadiums. The decision came after some tensions between the host country and FIFA. The decision was criticized for changing the earlier position as Qatar's Supreme Committee on Delivery and Legacy promised that alcohol will be available during the tournament at designated “fan zones."


The problem became complex as Budweiser, a beer-selling company is a sponsor of the FIFA World Cup. Initially, the decision was to allow sales of only Budweiser beer at the World Cup venue, but later an 'overall ban' was announced.


Budweiser addressed the decision on Friday and said the restrictions at World Cup matches were "beyond our control." FIFA and AB Inbev are in a partnership since 1986, and the company pushed for concessions, but now the  FIFA President’s statement ends any further discussion on the decision to ban alcohol. "Tournament organizers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continued support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup," the statement from FIFA said.

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