Qatar Bans Beer Sales at World Cup Stadiums

Simply two days from the opening match of the World Cup, FIFA and host nation Qatar banned the sale of beer at soccer stadiums house to one of many world’s largest sporting occasions, leaving main sponsor Budweiser stymied.

Qatar has made numerous adjustments in current weeks to its authentic settlement to permit Budweiser gross sales on the stadiums, first eradicating beer from concession stands after which transferring the stands to much less seen areas. Now, Budweiser might be permitted solely to promote nonalcoholic Budweiser Zero to most followers.

Key Takeaways

  • FIFA and Qatar banned beer gross sales all through stadiums internet hosting the World Cup
  • Budweiser, which has a $75 million contract with FIFA, can solely promote non-alcoholic beer
  • Budweiser and FIFA and negotiating a sponsorship settlement for 2026 worlds cup


Budweiser responded to the choice by tweeting “Effectively, that is awkward…” The tweet was deleted shortly thereafter.

The last-minute adjustments carry into query what impact it will have on negotiations between Budweiser and FIFA for the following World Cup and whether or not the corporate will renew its $75 million sponsorship contract.

The World Cup is an enormous occasion for Budweiser: a half-dozen bars close to 2018’s occasion in Russia ran out of their complete provide of beer throughout the first few days. Whereas FIFA has needed to work round alcohol bans, Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation, had a lot stricter legal guidelines round alcohol. 

FIFA stated in a press launch that the choice would “be certain that the stadiums and surrounding areas present an pleasant, respectful and nice expertise for all followers.”

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Whereas gross sales of alcohol will nonetheless be permitted within the luxurious suites, that in all probability will not be an enormous income for Budweiser, as friends can even have the choice to buy sommelier-chosen wine or the official FIFA champagne, amongst different drinks.

The choice has additionally led many to query what management FIFA has in operating the occasion and whether or not different last-minute adjustments might be made by Qatar, which has had points with the liberty of the press and welcoming LGBTQ+ soccer followers.

“Some followers like a beer on the match, and a few don’t, however the true problem is the last-minute U-turn, which speaks to a wider drawback – the entire lack of communication and readability from the organizing committee in direction of supporters,” soccer fan group the Soccer Help Affiliation stated in an announcement.

Budweiser steered final week that it had been blindsided by the numerous adjustments from FIFA and Qatar and that it hadn’t been included in any of the talks between the 2.

Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Budweiser’s father or mother firm, are down 12.6% within the final 12 months, in contrast with a 17.5% decline within the S&P 500 Index.