Qatar is a Muslim country with religious reasons for restricting the sale and consumption of alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam.
“We are working closely with FIFA, which is managing the relationship with the Qatari authorities, to ensure our activations for the tournament are executed respectfully and in compliance with local rules and regulations,” AB InBev, brewer of World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser, told Reuters.
Beer sales will occur only before and after games; during matches, only non-alcoholic beverages will be available to fans.
“Beer will be available when gates open, which is three hours before kick off. Whoever wants to have a beer will be able to. And then when they leave the stadium as well for one hour after the final whistle,” according to Reuters.
While the beer will be available within the eight stadium compounds for the competition, it will not be sold at concourse concession stands.
Budweiser will also be able to “serve beer in part of the main FIFA fan zone in central Doha [Qatar’s capital] from 6:30pm to 1:00am every day of the 29-day tournament, which kicks off on Nov. 20,” according to Reuters.
MATCH Hospitality is also selling corporate and premium tickets that offer access to wine, champagne and liquors.
MATCH Hospitality executive chairman Jamie Byrom told the Associated Press that “that the entire bid process of the FIFA World Cup is designed to deliver the kind of World Cup experience that all fans from around the world have a reason to expect and to look forward to.”