Budweiser has a multi-million dollar deal with Fifa for the Qatar World Cup but it is now in limbo with members of the Qatari Royal family asking for a total ban on booze during the competition.
It is high-noon drama now in the country just two days before the contentious World Cup begins.
The Qatari royal family is putting intense pressure on Fifa to outright ban the sale of booze from all World Cup stadiums.
That is not the only demand they made. They want to make sure no one touches booze during the tournament.
In order to stop selling Budweiser beer at the eight World Cup stadiums, one of the football organization’s biggest sponsors, the hosts have applied significant pressure to Fifa.
According to reports, if the U-turn proceeds and Budweiser is unable to market itself or sell any beer, Fifa will have broken a multi-million dollar contract.
Of course, this has nothing to do with the organisation of the world cup which will still go on. But for many, it will not be the same fun or sensation.
Certainly for those who are getting ferried into the country to watch the matches in the grand stadiums the Kingdom has built especially for the occasion.
Budweiser’s Booze Not Wanted
The only location where the availability of alcohol is guaranteed is in the Doha fan parks, and it is still unclear whether fans will be permitted to purchase beer at games.
The Times reports that after Qatari royals intervened, the removal of Budweiser sales is now “likely.”
This week, Fifa has already given the Qatari hosts one concession regarding Budweiser’s accessibility in stadiums because the Royals feel the Budweiser stands were too intrusive.
In a highly unusual modification to a sponsorship agreement so close to the beginning of the competition, Fifa consented to move them into locations where they would be less noticeable.
This directive, according to the New York Times, was given by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the brother of Qatar’s ruler.
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