Awarding the world’s largest sporting event to authoritarian emirate Qatar was a disaster from the outset. Countless slaves died building the air-conditioned stadiums (BBC), it isn’t safe there for travelers, especially people whose social media identifies them as LGBTQ, and local officials are content to be filmed threatening journalists covering the tournament. And now, two days before the football World Cup kicks off, they’ve banned the sale of beer in stadiums. Wine and whisky will still be flowing for luxury ticket holders in their exclusive paddocks, but everyone in the stands will have to go without.
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 … stadium perimeters,” FIFA said in a statement.
Champagne, wine, whiskey and other alcohol is still expected to be served in the luxury hospitality areas of the stadiums. Outside of those places, beer is normally the only alcohol sold to regular ticket holders.
The AP claims almost all of InBev’s beer stock is in Qatar and the company paid “tens of millions of dollars” for exclusive rights to sell it.
FIFA, the responsible governing body for soccer, is one of the world’s most blatantly corrupt organizations and a problem with corrupt deals is that they can always be altered. The implication here is that someone else in Qatar decided they wanted to get paid, InBev won’t cough up, and FIFA is losing control of its tournament.