World Cup sponsor Budweiser have reacted comically to the eleventh-hour news that Qatari officials have banned alcohol inside and around all eight of their stadiums for the tournament. In a now-deleted post, American-style pale lager company tweeted from their official Twitter account: “Well this is awkward,” just moments after the ban was confirmed just days out from the World Cup’s opening match on Sunday when the hosts take on Ecuador in Group A.
The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, who had to relax their relegations to allow FIFA’s sponsor Budweiser to sell beer outside stadiums and in fan zones.
However, following a drastic U-turn, alcohol is now prohibited outside World Cup venues meaning fans will not be able to buy the beer – regardless of its’ extortionate pricing.
FIFA have now released the following 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 sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.
“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.
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Drunk supporters will even be sent to specialist zones to sober up should they be deemed to be intoxicated.
In recent days, videos have emerged on social media of Budweiser tents in Doha behind wheeled away from sites in the midst of the final frantic preparations for the tournament.
Despite their publicity – Budweiser are now facing a contractual nightmare having sponsored FIFA under the impression their beer would be sold inside and around all eight stadiums.
Budweiser have since removed their initial tweet.
ITV’s Steve Scott quote tweeted the original post, writing: “Budweiser seem to confirm what FIFA hasn’t as yet…”
To which Budweiser responded: “Wait.. What’d they say?”
Fan Nigel Fox also wrote: “I cannot watch England play whilst I’m sober next Monday.”
Budweiser then jokingly responded: “Don’t be, we’ll join you.”