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Qatar Stadium Alcohol Ban: Budweiser Seeks Refund from FIFA

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Culture clash loomed its highest ever as Qatar renegades on its agreement with FIFA, by cancelling the earlier agreed sales of Alcohol at the World Cup Stadiums. For a nation that holds tight its Islamic religious tenet, it’s unfounded that they led FIFA on with a false promise of  allowing  fans  enjoy uninhibitedly during the soccer fiesta in their home land , including  right to purchase and drink alcohol at the stadia only to cancel it 48hours to the commencement of the world cup.

“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 perimeter,” said FIFA, soccer’s governing body, in a statement Friday the 18th of November 2022.

In ensuring that they do not lose their Islamic identity and also not have their ways of life altered even temporarily to accommodate their global visitors, they twisted the arms of FIFA and seemingly hurt the feelings of Anheuser-Busch InBev  (AB InBev) the world’s largest brewing company, which owns multiple global beer brands like  Michelob, Stella Artois,  Beck’s and Budweiser their Qatar 2022 Sponsor brand.

Due to Qatar’s lack of breweries and intense heat, AB InBev  made extra efforts to ensure that Budweiser Beer as one of the official sponsors of the Qatar 2022 World Cup was made available to fans from all over the world during the one month global soccer competition. They had to ship the beer via ocean freighter and store it in refrigerated warehouses.

Budweiser were seemingly unhappy once the news was announced, Tweeting: “Well, this is awkward…” before it was promptly deleted. They later claimed that the tournament winners would get the Beers meant for public sale and consumption during the tournament.

In the beer sponsorship deal Ab InBev is paying FIFA around $75 million to be the official beer supplier for this World Cup and has a deal for roughly $112 million for the 2026 World Cup in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. They are now asking for an approximate $47.4 million deduction for the 2026 World Cup portion of its deal with FIFA, after soccer’s governing body reversed course on beer sales in Qatar.

Budweiser is allowed to sale its non-alcoholic beer Bud Zero at World Cup games, Bud Zero is an alcohol-free lager that Anheuser-Busch says tastes similar to its best-selling alcoholic beverage  and Fans who still hunger for a thirst of beer will have it as consolation, while  its regular alcoholic beer will only be available at designated fan areas.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup tournament will feature more teams, meaning there will be a total of 80 games taking place across the three countries, a rise on the current 64. This also means Budweiser will have the opportunity to sell more of its beer in the stadiums and fan zones throughout the World Cup which shall be hosted by 16 cities in total with 11 in USA,3 in Mexico and 2 in Canada.

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