Qatar will permit ticketed fans to buy alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches starting three hours before kickoff and for one hour after the final whistle, but not during the match, a source with knowledge of plans for the tournament said. Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor with exclusive rights to sell beer at the tournament, will serve beer within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each stadium, but not in the stadium stands or concourse, the source said.
At previous World Cup tournaments, beer was served in fan zones all day long. The decision about where and when beer will be sold to fans is now finalized, but the price fans will be charged for a beer is still under discussion, the source said. Qatar’s World Cup organizers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, did not respond to requests for comment about the World Cup controls on alcohol. Qatar’s government media office directed requests to the Supreme Committee.
There are four matches scheduled on most days of the tournament’s group stage, with the earliest match kicking off at 1 p.m. It was not immediately clear how Qatar will handle beer sales ahead of the 1 p.m. Wales and Iran game on Friday Nov. 25, when most Muslims in Qatar will be gathering at mosques for the weekly congregational prayer. Qatar currently requires most shops and restaurants in the country to close during Friday prayers.