World Cup fans celebrate opening day goals, chant for beer | USA TODAY #Shorts


Qatar’s ban of beer sales couldn’t stop these soccer fans from celebrating the opening matches of the 2022 World Cup.

RELATED: How much it costs to host the World Cup in Qatar

Qatar banned the sale of beer at World Cup stadiums on Friday, a sudden U-turn on the deal the conservative Muslim emirate made to secure the soccer tournament with only two days to go before the opening game.

The move was the latest sign of the tension of staging the event, which is not just a sports tournament but also a monthlong party, in the autocratic country where the sale of alcohol is heavily restricted. It’s also a significant blow to World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser and raised questions about how much control FIFA retains over its tournament.

When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, the country agreed to FIFA’s requirements of selling alcohol in stadiums — but the details were only released in September, just 11 weeks before the first kickoff, suggesting how fraught the negotiations may have been. Friday’s statement from FIFA said non-alcoholic beer will still be sold at the eight stadiums, while champagne, wine, whiskey and other alcohol will be served in the luxury hospitality areas of the arenas.

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