This Friday, FIFA made a last-minute reversal and announced that beer will not be sold at Qatar’s World Cup stadiums. This reversal is making European football fans more suspicious of Qatar’s ability to follow through with the promises they made to fans.
The kickoff for the World Cup is set to happen this Sunday. Note, this is the first World Cup to be held in a conservative Muslim country that has tight laws around alcohol use. In Qatar, alcohol isn’t illegal. However, public consumption of it is totally illegal. Leading up to this World Cup, there have been many concerns raised about foreign fans clashing with the culture and laws of Qatar.
In response to this ban, England’s Football Supporters’ Association said the decision raises concerns about Qatar’s ability to fulfill its promises to visiting fans on “accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”
Keep in mind, Qatar’s tournament organizers have said in the past that getting alcohol wouldn’t be a problem for fans and that it would be widely available at the tournament.
Qatar is currently expecting approximately 1.2 million fans to fly in to witness this month-long tournament. It will be very interesting to see how this World Cup plays out off the field.