FIFA lures football fans to Qatari desert then bans drink

bud-beer-ban-qatar-world-cup

World Cup organiser FIFA has sensationally pulled the rug from under thousands of football fans, by issuing a ban on beer sales during the event in Qatar.

In a statement, FIFA said it made the shock decision following discussions with the host country.

“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 sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters. 

Beer ban bad for Bud

The bizarre twist comes despite the fact the Budweiser is a major sponsor and sole beer sponsor of the 2022 World Cup and has spend tens of millions on supporting the event. 

When the announcement first came, the US beer first posted a message on its Twitter page saying: “Well this is awkward”. The company later removed the tweet from its timeline. 

FIFA, lamely added: “There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.

“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 tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”

FIFA has already been criticised for handing the tournament to a nation with a poor human rights record. Many have called for big name sponsors and celebrities, such as David Beckham, to speak out about the Gulf state’s behaviour towards migrant workers for example.

lufthansa-fanhansa
Diversity wins: Lufthansa carried bold message on its Qatar-bund planes.

The nation’s intolerance and hate towards the LGBTQ community has also met with protest as airlines including Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa made pro-LGBTQ statements on the aircraft they flew players on to the tiny Gulf country.

virgin-atlantic-rainbow-Credit kennedyspotting
Virgin boy: Rain Bow mascot proudly donned on flight carrying England team.

Alcohol in Qatar

Qatar Airways, the country’s national airline serves alcohol in all its travel classes, and alcohol is also served in the nation’s grand hotels.

However, the last minute U-turn on beer sales is likely to leave many fans feeling conned, unimpressed and angry at the sport’s governing body FIFA.

With so much controversy before the first ball has even been kicked, questions are likely to follow about how FIFA selects country’s in future.

It was this rate, we wouldn’t be surprised if teams just threw their support behind the loyal fans that make them so wealthy, and boycott the tournament until someone in Qatar sees sense.  

Some might even question the country’s enthusiasm for the game at all. On the Qatar tourist office website’s homepage one of the lead picture ads reads ’No football. No worries.’