Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

The Guardian explained that multiple sponsors have raised concerns or issues with FIFA regarding their contracts at the Qatar World Cup. It’s giving football’s governing body another headache, hours after it was forced to ban alcohol in stadiums by Qatari authorities, complicating Budweiser’s $75m (£63m) contract with brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Another major sponsor’s representative, speaking on condition of anonymity, said many partners felt “in many ways let down by Fifa”. They also noted that there were informal discussions about potential breaches of contract and waiver of deliveries.

“Everyone has a grievance in some way or another,” they added. “A lot of ‘regrouping’ goes on [on] to understand what the options mean from the contract.”

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Previously, FIFA confirmed in a succinct statement that alcohol will not be sold in or around World Cup stadiums.

“Following discussions between host country officials and FIFA, it has been decided to focus alcoholic beverage sales on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, and to remove beer outlets from around Qatar’s 2022 World Cup stadium.” aforementioned.

“The sale of Bud Zero, which will continue to go on sale at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums, has no impact.”

However, he will now be nervously looking at the possibility of Budweiser taking legal action if some form of compensation is not agreed with Qatar.

Shortly before the announcement, the US beer brand – since deleted – tweeted: “Well, that’s weird…”

The sale of alcohol is tightly controlled in Qatar, a conservative Muslim country, but organizers promised that alcohol would be available in match halls and fan zones and be reasonably priced.

But now it has been decided that alcohol can only be found at matches after 7pm in hospitality boxes where the cheapest suites cost around £20,000 per match, and in some fan zones where it will cost around £12 for 500ml of Budweiser.

Staff were told the move followed safety advice, but the change was due to Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the brother of Qatar’s ruling emir and the most active royal since then, according to the New York Times. – daily planning of the tournament.

The Guardian also understands that it is another consideration to want to make sure that the large number of supporters from Gulf and Asian countries where drinking alcohol is not a part of the culture, feel comfortable.

Fans outside the England team hotel ahead of the World Cup
Fans outside the England team’s hotel ahead of the World Cup. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

Until recently, organizers had always said they would find a middle ground between the tastes of Western fans and Qatar’s conservative culture. This message was most recently echoed by the High Committee’s head of communications, Fatma al-Nuaimi, who said: “When it comes to alcohol, even without alcohol, hospitality is part of our culture. So it will be in the places where the fans gather, but not out on the streets.”

The association’s official fan guide also states that “ticket holders will have access to Budweiser, Budweiser Zero and Coca-Cola products within the stadium perimeter for at least three hours before and one hour after games.”

The news was met with frustration by the Football Fans’ Association, which questioned whether the Qataris could now be trusted with their other promises.

A spokesperson said, “Some fans want beers at the game, some don’t, but the real issue is a last-minute U-turn that points to a broader issue – the lack of communication and clarity from the organizing committee to the fans.” aforementioned.

“If they suddenly change their minds on the matter without any explanation, fans will have understandable concerns about whether they will deliver on their other promises regarding housing, transportation or cultural issues.”