Qatar eyes talks over World Cup 2022 alcohol sales

Gulf state chief says he sees no reason for selling alcohol at stadiums during tournament
Qatar eyes talks over World Cup 2022 alcohol sales
Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 16 Mar 2012 09:46 AM

Qatar's top World Cup 2022 official has said he sees no reason for selling alcohol at stadiums hosting matches during the tournament.

Hassan Al Thawadi, general secretary of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said in comments published by The Associated Press that it was an issue that will be discussed with FIFA.

He declined to say whether it will sell alcohol at stadiums during the 2022 World Cup and would only would say the country was aiming to put on an event where "everyone will be able to have a great time, have fun and be exposed to Qatari culture", AP reported.

Qatar currently limits the sale of alcohol mostly to five-star hotels and doesn't sell alcohol currently at soccer matches.

"I don't see the reason for it being in the stadium," Al Thawadi was quoted as saying, adding that several nations including Brazil don't currently sell it at matches.

"I'm looking at it in terms of England and looking at in terms of everybody else. That is something we are discussing with FIFA ... Let's discuss this with relevant stakeholders and come up with a plan that welcomes everyone," he told AP.

In January, the secretary general of FIFA said alcohol was a non-negotiable aspect of the World Cup.

Football’s governing body pushed for the sale of alcohol at 12 venues of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil in spite of a country-wide ban on the sale of alcohol in sports venues as part of a bid to stamp out violence among fans.

FIFA has said it will sharply defend the commercial rights of all its sponsors -- among them brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser, which has extended its sponsorship of the World Cup through the 2018 edition in Russia and the 2022 event in Qatar.

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