Reuters is reporting that the Qatar 2022 World Cup will be the first to severely restrict alcohol consumption. Alcoholic beverages will not be permitted inside stadiums, with beer sales allowed before and after some matches, but only outside the venues. The 2022 World Cup is, of course, being held in a Muslim country with strict rules about alcohol consumption in public, which presents a challenge for fans and organizers alike.
Futbol’s relationship with alcohol has always been a tricky one, with most stadiums around the world selling alcohol during matches and a lot of fans used to consuming it as they enjoy the game. In some countries alcohol, particularly beer, has even become part of the celebration for when teams score a goal, with fans expected to throw whatever they’re drinking up in the air to celebrate their team. This relationship even led Brazil to lift its own ban on alcohol in stadiums before hosting the 2014 World Cup.
Of course, the link between violence in futbol stadiums and alcohol consumption has long been discussed, with the conversation turning even more serious and urgent after the violent Liga MX brawl between Querétaro F.C and Atlas F.C fans.
In Qatar, things will look very different than they do in Mexico, and most other local leagues. Alcohol will only be served at restricted times, not all day, though it will be available in specific areas, such as hotels and bars and at the FIFA fan zone. Fans will also not be allowed to bring alcohol into the country or purchase it at the country’s only liquor store – with the designated areas the only ones where alcohol can be sold and consumed.
The FIFA 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar from November 21st to December 18th, 2022.