Booze | November 18, 2022 1:05 pm

To No One’s Surprise, Qatar Just Banned Alcohol at World Cup Stadiums

The move comes just days after beer vendors were forced to relocate

Budweiser stands are seen outside a stadium as Qatari Authorities confirmed today that no alcohol will be sold within the perimeter of the stadiums that will host the upcoming World Cup ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on November 18, 2022
Those Budweiser stands at the World Cup won't be serving alcohol
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

A few days after designated drinking areas at World Cup stadiums in Qatar were suddenly moved to less conspicuous areas, the inevitable happened: The country outright banned drinking alcohol for those attending the games, with one maddening exception.

Per ESPN, World Cup organizers had late negotiations on the upcoming sale of alcohol at stadiums, an issue for a country that pretty much limits alcohol purchases and consumption to hotels. As noted by FIFA 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 FIFA gamely notes that Bud Zero will still be available during matches (um, hooray?) and that the dedicated, booze-friendly fan zones remain intact, this last-minute decision continues a troubling rollout for the World Cup, which has already been marred by human rights violations and an unfriendly attitude toward foreign media…although we can really go back to the intrinsic corruption throughout FIFA itself, which is responsible for awarding Qatar the World Cup and the host of problems that came with that decision.

Your 2022 FIFA World Cup Primer: Human Rights, Star Players and Every Team’s Chances

We break down the biggest storylines every fan needs to know before matches begin on Sunday

Qatar has a right to create its own policy on alcohol. And there are plenty of sporting events around the world (football or otherwise) that choose not to serve booze, and it probably makes for a less stressful time for patrons and organizers alike. This new decision, however, should not have happened just days before the World Cup began. Sponsor Budweiser initially showed a sense of humor about the situation on Twitter, but of course, that tweet is now deleted.

Worse, this new “ban” may not necessarily apply to everyone. Per a report on SkySports, as shared by FootballDaily, those with a “corporate hospitality ticket” will indeed have access to alcohol at stadiums. Apparently, money trumps ideology.

Our suggestion? If you’re in Qatar, use this map to find places that serve alcohol. And for the rest of us…the women’s World Cup in 2023 is taking place in Australia and New Zealand, where we’re sure you’ll be able to enjoy a drink (and a possible U.S. win).