Alcohol will be available in the boxes of 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar, at the moment only for spectators who have tickets called ‘hospitality’, the company in charge of this offer, which is not suitable for all budgets, announced on Monday.
Despite the strict rules of the Muslim country regarding alcohol consumption, the announcement indicates that the authorities agreed with the possibility of serving alcoholic beverages in stadiums.
The issue has been recurrent within FIFA, organizer of the competition, since the emirate obtained the concession to organize the World Cup in 2010. Although at the moment no decision has been made public about the consumption of alcohol by part of fans who have ordinary tickets for matches.
“We hope that people can make it (drink),” said Jaime Byrom, president of MATCH Hospitality, the provider of hospitality tickets for World Cup-2022, when announcing the launch of offers for the tournament on Monday.
“We anticipate being able to serve alcohol in our hospitality program,” he said.
During a promotional event, MATCH Hospitality unveiled its ‘premium’ offer for sale for the World Cup event, namely, the Pearl Lounge box at the Lusail stadium that will host the opening match and the World Cup final, and which will propose “a selection of champagne , sommeliers and quality wines and spirits”. At the moment the price of the service has not been disclosed.
– Strict rules –
The sale and consumption of alcohol are tightly controlled in Qatar. Only a few bars and restaurants in upscale hotels are allowed to serve it, and a single state-controlled store can sell it to customers who have permission to consume it.
Temporary visitors, including soccer fans, will not be able to purchase alcohol at that store, under current rules.
Although the price of alcohol has fallen slightly in recent years, a pint of beer typically costs more than $ 15, and a glass of wine usually fetches $ 20.
In Qatar, being drunk in public is a crime and zero tolerance is applied to drunk people at the wheel.
The small Gulf country tested a ‘fan zone’ during the 2019 Club World Cup, where fans were allowed to consume alcoholic beverages in the zone on the outskirts of Doha.
That year, Hassan al-Thawadi, the Secretary General of the Supreme Organizing Committee for the World Cup, declared that alcohol “is not part of our culture, but hospitality is.”
There will be no ‘fan zone’ during this year’s Club World Cup, which starts on Thursday, due to strict prevention measures against covid-19.
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