Just two days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, FIFA has confirmed that no alcohol will be sold in the eight stadiums hosting the 64-match tournament.
The Muslim country is considered to be very conservative and strictly regulates the sale and consumption of alcohol.
In September, Qatar said it would allow ticketed fans to buy alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches starting three hours before kick-off and for one hour after the final whistle, but not allowed during the match.
Just a day later, on Friday morning, FIFA issued a statement confirming the Times report.
It's a fairly late decision before action kicks off in Qatar on November 20. Most notably ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA demanded that the country change its laws to allow the sale of beer in stadiums. Then-president Dilma Rousseff signed a bill authorizing the sale, along with other new rules for the World Cup.
Before that, the sale of beer during soccer matches in Brazil had been illegal since 2003 to prevent violence during matches.
Alcohol is not technically banned in Qatar, but it is strictly regulated. If Budweiser can't have exposure during matches, FIFA could be in breach of its multi-million- dollar contract with Budweiser, a company that has had a relationship with FIFA since 1985.
There are five fan zones across Qatar which include shows, food, alcohol and other entertainment. Entrance to the zones is free and the matches are also broadcast on giant screens in each of the zones. If fans appear too drunk, they will be sent to separate areas to sober up, although it is currently unknown how this will work.
At the stadium, beer will only be available in hospitality boxes, where other types of alcohol such as wine and spirits will also be served to those who can afford it.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to commence on November 20 and run until December 18.
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