Blame FIFA, not Qatar, for World Cup beer ban

Adrienne Lawrence
Liberal Opinion

Adrienne Lawrence

Legal commentator
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Qatar’s last-minute decision to ban beer at the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums angered fans as well as some of the event’s most prominent sponsors. The move is said to have been made in part to find a common ground between the sport’s Western fans and Qatar’s more conservative culture. Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence says it shouldn’t be a surprise that fans are forced to go dry at the World Cup. She says the blame lies squarely with FIFA for thinking Qatar would disrupt their culture for any event.

Alcohol is important to soccer fans around the world, particularly beer. It’s a fixture at most sporting events. And it is really wild that Qatar made this about-face announcement just two days before the World Cup’s first game. How are you going to tell a million people en route to party that there will be no drinks? You know, just drinks meaning non-alcoholic.

I actually find this whole thing to be hysterical. But that’s only because I’m not there in Qatar for the World Cup games. But I have been to a World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, and I can confirm alcohol is very important when it comes to vibe-enhancing. But the thing is, it’s not part of Qatar’s vibe. It’s not a part of their culture. There’s only one liquor store in the entire nation that’s accessible to non-Muslim residents. And only non-Muslims over the age of 21 can drink in restaurants, bars and hotels. That’s the country’s vibe. And I’m not going to hate on it. 

I’m sure Qatar has far fewer drunk driving deaths and likely far fewer..what alcohol-related health issues and assaults. You know, no matter how you really look at it, alcohol is a dangerous toxin that’s harmful to the body. It just also happens to be utterly delicious and incredibly fun in the moment. And with that moment now being stripped away from the average World Cup fan, I’m kind of giggling. 

You know, it seems that I would say the average World Cup fan because Qatar is still allowing drinks to flow in those hospitality suites that cost upwards of $22,000. So basically, if you have the cash, you can get a pass here. And that’s really classist and pretty raggedy, but it also is something that we can expect from just about any government, not just Qatar, because folks really enjoy being able to create loopholes for the ones that they love. And I would not be surprised if those who get less love – as in those with less money – end up pre-gaming hard at their hotel before the games or trying to sneak in alcohol in stadiums, even though there is the potential of a fine or even deportation. But still, folks will do the most to get the high liquor offers. You know that buzz can make life a little more riveting, I guess. Also, it can help soften the blow of watching your team take an “L” on a big stage. 

It’s a thrilling time with the 2022 World Cup in full effect right now in Qatar. Roughly one million soccer fans have converged on the Gulf nation in hopes of witnessing their team take the win. And it’ll be a sobering sight, figuratively and literally, after Qatar reneged on its promise to allow alcohol sales in stadiums. Now generally, I would never call Budweiser alcohol but I will call it that today. And it is a big deal. Alcohol is important to soccer fans around the world, particularly beer. It’s a fixture at most sporting events. And it is really wild that Qatar made this about-face announcement just two days before the World Cup’s first game. How are you going to tell a million people en route to party that there will be no drinks. You know, just drinks meaning non-alcoholic.

I actually find this whole thing to be hysterical. But that’s only because I’m not there in Qatar for the World Cup games. But I have been to a World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, and I can confirm alcohol is very important when it comes to vibe enhancing. But the thing is, it’s not part of Qatar’s vibe. It’s not a part of our culture. There’s only one liquor store in the entire nation that’s accessible to non-Muslim residents. And only non-Muslims over the age of 21 can drink in restaurants, bars and hotels. That’s the country’s vibe. And I’m not going to hate on it. 

I’m sure Qatar has far fewer drunk driving deaths and likely far fewer..what alcohol-related health issues and assaults. You know, no matter how you really look at it, alcohol is a dangerous toxin that’s harmful to the body. It just also happens to be utterly delicious and incredibly fun in the moment. And with that moment now being stripped away from the average World Cup fan, I’m kind of giggling. 

You know, it seems that I would say the average World Cup fan because Qatar is still allowing drinks to flow in those hospitality suites that cost upwards of $22,000. So basically, if you have the cash, you can get a pass here. And that’s really classist and pretty raggedy, but it also is something that we can expect from just about any government, not just Qatar, because folks really enjoy being able to create loopholes for the ones that they love. And I would not be surprised if those who get less love – as in those with less money – end up pre-gaming hard at their hotel before the games or trying to sneak in alcohol in stadiums, even though there is the potential of a fine or even deportation. But still, folks will do the most to get the high liquor offers. You know that buzz can make life a little more riveting, I guess. Also, it can help soften the blow of watching your team take an L on a big stage. 

But regardless here…as far as I’m concerned, this is FIFA’s fault. Soccer’s global governing body knew good and well what Qatar was about. When countries show you who they are, believe them. And I sure believe that most World Cup fans in attendance are experiencing the games right now in a way that they have never before – sober. And good luck with that.


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