Qatar’s decision to reverse course and ban the consumption of alcohol at World Cup games left Budweiser on the hook with a tremendous amount of unsellable and unconsumable beer.
Or did it?
In light of the Muslim nation’s ban on alcohol sales, except for the elites watching the games from the luxury suites, of course. Budweiser has decided to award a portion of the beer they had planned to sell to fans to the team who wins the World Cup.
“We will host the ultimate championship celebration for the winning country. Because, for the winning fans, they’ve taken the world. More details will be shared when we get closer to the finals,” an Anheuser-Busch InBev spokesperson told CNN.
Qatar initially gave FIFA and Budweiser the “green light” to sell beer to fans at the games but ultimately reversed course mere days before the tournament began.
While Qatar’s decision to ban alcohol sales to fans but not those sitting in luxury boxes may come off as hypocritical, because it is. The hypocrisy is not limited to the World Cup. According to Qatari law, specific hotels and bars are actually allowed to sell alcohol. Members of the public, however, could face up to six months in prison for being caught drunk or drinking in public places.
So, in other words, if you’re lucky enough to be a part of the Qatari elite, bottoms up. If not, tough.
“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 perimeters,” FIFA said in a statement.
The World Cup winner will be decided on December 18.