The FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on November 20©TUSEN
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Saturday that World Cup fans could survive without beer for three hours a day after sales were banned around stadiums. “I personally think if you can’t drink beer for three hours a day, you can survive,” he said at his opening press conference in Doha. “The same is true in France, Spain, Scotland.” World Cup leaders on Friday banned the sale of beer around stadiums in Qatar in a stunning reversal, just 48 hours before Sunday’s kick-off.
Alcohol is largely banned in the Muslim nation, but organizers angered fans with their dramatic late decision.
Football’s governing body, FIFA, said after discussions with the hosts that beer would not be sold to fans around any of the eight World Cup stadiums.
It said beer sales would focus on fan zones and licensed venues, “removing beer outlets from the perimeters of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar”.
It gave no reason for the surprise decision, but media reports said there had been an intervention by Qatar’s ruling family.
Dozens of Budweiser beer tents had already been set up on the grounds prior to the first game.
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