Report: Qatar to allow beer sales at World Cup games

i24NEWS - Reuters

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A bartender serves visitors on September 2, 2022, during the annual annual Oktoberfest beer festival in the village of Taybeh, east of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Abbas MOMANI / AFPA bartender serves visitors on September 2, 2022, during the annual annual Oktoberfest beer festival in the village of Taybeh, east of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

'Beer will be available when gates open, which is three hours before kick-off,' a source says

Qatar will permit ticketed fans to buy alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches, a source with knowledge of plans for the tournament told Reuters.

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.

People will be able to purchase the beer starting three hours before kickoff and for one hour after the final whistle, but not during the match.

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"Beer will be available when gates open, which is three hours before kick-off. Whoever wants to have a beer will be able to. And then when they leave the stadium as well for one hour after the final whistle," the source said, according to Reuters.

This year's World Cup is the first to be held in a Muslim country with strict alcohol regulations. While not a "dry" state like neighboring Saudi Arabia, consuming alcohol in public places is illegal in Qatar. 

Visitors cannot bring alcohol into Qatar, even from the airport duty-free, and they cannot buy alcohol at the country's only liquor store, on the outskirts of Doha. Only foreign residents with permits can shop there for home consumption.

Visitors can drink at a few dozen licensed hotels and clubs, where a pint of beer can cost $18.

The decision about where and when beer will be sold to fans is now finalized, according to the source, but the price fans will be charged for a beer is still under discussion.

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