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Qatar to ban beer from World Cup stadiums

Qatar to ban beer from World Cup stadiums

The tournament is set to start on Sunday.

Fans will not be able to buy beer in or around the eight stadiums hosting games at the Qatar World Cup.

The decision comes just two days before the first game of the tournament. Qatar initially asked if the stands for Budweiser, a major sponsor, could be less prominent.

Per Sky News, alcohol will now be banned from sale in stadiums, with an official statement expected later today.

The sale of alcohol is prohibited in Qatar unless in restaurants and public bars, away from public view.

FIFA and Qatar previously reached an agreement that the sale of alcohol would be allowed in a security perimeter outside venues but not inside the stadiums themselves.

A source told Sky News: "These have been long-term discussions, and the overall feeling from everyone involved was that the stadiums need to be for everyone.

"This World Cup is different to others in that a larger number of fans are attending from across the Middle East and South Asia, where alcohol doesn't play such a large role in the culture. The thinking was that, for many fans, the presence of alcohol would not create an enjoyable experience.

"The fan zones will be different in that some are clearly designated as alcohol-serving, while others are alcohol-free. Fans can decide where they want to go without feeling uncomfortable. At stadiums, this was previously not the case."

Inside the Al Bayt Stadium, which will host Qatar vs Ecuador on November 20. (Image

It's believed the decision is being made following the demands of the Al Thani royal family in Qatar. At the time of writing, it's unknown if this extends to corporate areas.

Beer will be available in fan zones around Qatar after 6:30pm. Special zones which supporters can use to sober up have been developed.

Hosts Qatar open the tournament against Ecuador on Sunday. Qatar being awarded the World Cup has been a controversial topic since it was announced in 2010.

Earlier this week, the Qatar Supreme Committee apologised to Danish broadcaster TV2 after one of their journalists was threatened by an official.

Rasmus Tantholdt was approached by three men while filming, being told his camera equipment was at risk of being destroyed.

A statement later claimed Tantholdt was 'mistakenly interrupted'.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Qatar, Football World Cup