football’s governing body, has confirmed that no alcohol will be sold at the
eight venues where matches will be played in Qatar. The decision comes barely
two days before the beginning of the World Cup on November 20. A total of 64
matches will be played at the World Cup.

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 perimeter,” FIFA said in a statement Friday.

follows a conservative version of Islamic law and Muslims are not allowed to consume
alcohol. Foreigners are allowed to buy alcohol from licensed stores while non-Muslim
locals can drink at home with a special permit.

decision is a reversal of Qatar’s earlier stance to allow ticketed fans to buy
alcoholic beer at the World Cup matches starting three hours before kick-off
and for one hour after the final whistle, but not during the match.

FIFA is in
a contract with Budweiser’s parent company AB InBev that allows the Belgium-based
beer brand to sell exclusively in World Cup venues. Budweiser was supposed to
sell beer within the ticketed perimeter of each game venue. This year, however,
they will only be allowed to sell Bud Zero, the non-alcoholic version of
Budweiser beer.

“There is
no impact on the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s
World Cup stadiums,” the FIFA statement read.

tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous
support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup
Qatar, 2022,” read FIFA’s statement further.

Budweiser, one
of FIFA’s partners, tweeted, “Well, this is awkward,” after the announcement
was made, CNN reported. The tweet was deleted soon after.

Ab InBev,
the world’s largest brewing company, pays FIFA around $75 million as part of
its sponsorship agreement, the New York Times reported.