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$112m World Cup sponsor Budweiser could be banned from selling beer

World Cup hosts Qatar are reportedly pressuring FIFA to stop selling official sponsor Budweiser beer at all eight stadiums hosting the matches, just days before kick-off.

The temperature understands that 48 hours before Qatar face Ecuador in the tournament opener on Sunday, it’s likely fans will be told they can’t buy beer at any game.

The publication reported that the only place it was currently certain beer would be available to all football fans was in fan parks in Doha.

FIFA, the world governing body for association football, could be in breach of its multimillion-dollar contract with Budweiser if it is not allowed to sell its product or have visibility at matches.

It comes after reports that the Qatari royal family made a direct request to FIFA for Budweiser will keep beer tents away from stadiums to less important places.

The beer giant, which would pay $75m (A$112m) every four years to be the tournament’s official alcohol sponsor, was seen moving its tents last week.

Alcohol is not banned in Qatar, but its sale is strictly controlled. Visitors can usually only buy it in hotel restaurants and bars at a premium price.

Budweiser could be banned from selling beer during the World Cup. Photo: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg NewsSource: Supplied

Budweiser owner AB InBev told Sky News it was only informed of the decision that its marquee tents should be moved eight days before the tournament was due to start.

“AB InBev was notified on November 12 and is working with FIFA to relocate the concession outlets to the locations indicated. We are working with FIFA to provide the best possible experience for fans,” the company said.

“Our goal is to provide the best possible customer experience under the new circumstances.”

The New York Times posted a video of the tents moved.

There have been warnings for fans who attend the World Cup. Homosexuality, swearing and drinking alcohol or being drunk in public are criminal acts in Qatar.

Radha Stirling, founder and director of legal aid group Detained in Dubai, which has launched an app to help World Cup fans facing problems, said fans could find themselves in trouble over trivial issues.

“Qatar hasn’t seen mass tourism before this year and it’s highly likely that visitors will run into trouble, like the cases we’ve seen in Dubai over the past decade,” she said. . The sun.

“It’s hard to advise people to ‘obey the law’ when the laws are so strict that Qatar is telling police to ‘be lenient with tourists’ during the cut.

“The arbitrary application of the law creates confusion and risks for visitors.

“As in Dubai, people are often singled out when a complaint is made to the police by a local Qatari who has been ‘offended’ by a visitor.

“The police are then obliged to follow up on the complaint.”

Men walk past a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy outside the Ahmed bin Ali stadium in Al-Rayyan on November 12. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFPSource: AFP

Qatar World Cup organizers said last week there were still thousands of rooms available for the tournament despite fears the tiny Gulf state would be overflowing with fans at the start of the tournament.

There were at least 25,000 rooms free even during the peak days of the World Cup, expected between November 24 and 28, the organizing committee’s accommodation director Omar Al-Jaber said during of a press conference.

Asked about fears of hotel shortages, Jaber said: ‘That’s the wrong message. We have enough accommodations and people can come and enjoy the tournament and choose what they are looking for.

Qatar has been the center of much criticism over its human rights record, but organizers say 2.9 million of the 3.1 million tickets have been sold.

Jaber said the country was still expecting more than a million visitors at the 29-day event which begins on November 20.

— with AFP

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