Budweiser beer stands at eight World Cup stadiums will be moved to smaller areas in the days before the games start, the Qatari organizer said on Monday.
It is the latest change in World Cup planning that began more than a decade ago in the majority-Muslim emirate where alcohol sales are strictly regulated.
Qatar agreed when it launched its historic hosting campaign in 2009 to honor FIFA’s commercial partnerships, including the long-standing Budweiser deal that was renewed 11 years ago with brewer AB InBev through the 2022 competition.
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The organizers of the World Cup finally approved a beer sales policy in September that covers FIFA-sanctioned stadiums and venues.
On Saturday, eight days before the first games, the contract was amended to provide Budweiser-branded stores with less visibility for serving beer with alcohol in the playground.
“AB InBev reported on November 12 that it is working with FIFA to move the concessions to the designated areas,” said the Belgian company, which includes Anheuser-Busch, in Monday in a statement. “We are working with FIFA to bring the best experience to fans.”
In Qatar, the organizers of the World Cup said that “operational plans will be suspended.”
“These plans involve venue management teams increasing the overlay requirements for all competition venues,” said Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, regarding the promotion of sporting events. including temporary signage and supplies for officers.
“This has a significant impact on the location of some fences,” said the organizers, who refused to answer a question about who made the decision.
Four years ago in Russia, a Budweiser beer sale had one of the most important situations for supporters outside the Luzhniki stadium of Moscow, which hosted the opening game and the final.
Red banners for Budweiser and Coca-Cola – two of FIFA’s longest-standing sponsors since the 1980s and 1970s, respectively – are placed next to a statue of Vladimir Lenin standing by facing fans approaching the main gate.
FIFA does not announce the value of the World Cup’s commercial activities, but the second sponsor like Budweiser is worth tens of millions of dollars.
Allowing the sale of beer in Qatar was only announced in September and allows beer and alcohol to be served before and after matches at the stadium. Bud Zero can be served without alcohol during games in the game cup.
Champagne, wines and spirits and beer are served in the stadium’s restaurants and lounges for club guests. Residents of most of the high-end hotels and three cruise ships chartered by the organizers as floating hotels for the competition can purchase a variety of alcoholic beverages.