50,000 traveling English fans about to discover they find soccer kinda boring. https://t.co/lW2oPnXpQh
— Pomodoro (Dad Joke Era) (@ilpomodoro2) November 18, 2022
Alcohol is haram, and therefore prohibited in Qatar, unless you can afford to pay £19,000 for a ticket, in which case obviously it's fine. https://t.co/2UVJjmCton
— Alfie | HITC Sevens (@HITCSevens) November 18, 2022
Usual disclaimer, I know nothing about soccer & have insufficient spare bandworth to learn, but this is theoretically a full-service blog. Are people not-watching the Qatar Cup to the extent that the occasional post about particularly egregious events will be sufficient? Or should I set up open threads about the various matches… and, if so, when would those posts best be scheduled?
Post your suggestions about timing below… and remember, open threads are open, but excessive abuse of other commentors’ choices is never a good look.
Back on the main topic: Qatar’s royal family has obviously decided that they don’t have to abide by their previous agreements, because eff you, infidels — and FIFA should’ve known what to expect when they hugged this particular scorpion to their grabby bosoms…
Per Reuters, “No alcohol sales permitted at Qatar’s World Cup stadium sites”:
DOHA Nov 18 (Reuters) – Alcoholic beer will not be sold at Qatar’s World Cup stadiums, world soccer governing body FIFA said on Friday, a last minute reversal which raised questions among some supporters about the host country’s ability to deliver on promises to fans.
The announcement comes two days before Sunday’s kickoff of the World Cup, the first to be held in a conservative Muslim country with strict controls on alcohol, the consumption of which is banned in public.
“Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters,” a FIFA spokesperson said in a statement…
For years, Qatar’s tournament organisers have said that alcohol would be widely accessible to fans at the tournament.
“Some fans like a beer at the match, and some don’t, but the real issue is the last-minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem — the total lack of communication and clarity from the organising committee towards supporters,” the association said in a statement on Twitter.
Qatar, the smallest country to host a World Cup, is bracing for the expected arrival of 1.2 million fans during the month long tournament, more than a third of the Gulf Arab state’s 3 million population.
Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor, owned by beer maker AB InBev, was to exclusively sell alcoholic beer within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the eight stadiums three hours before and one hour after each game…
The stadium reversal comes after long-term negotiations between FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Budweiser, and executives from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which is organising the World Cup, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The SC did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment and FIFA did not confirm Infantino’s involvement.
“A larger number of fans are attending from across the Middle East and South Asia, where alcohol doesn’t play such a large role in the culture,” the source said.
“The thinking was that, for many fans, the presence of alcohol would not create an enjoyable experience.”
Alcohol will continue to flow freely inside stadium VIP suites, which FIFA’s website advertises as offering a selection of beers, Champagne, sommelier-selected wines, and premium spirits…
Budweiser AB is consoling itself by stating that the vast majority of their WC sales are to fans watching the event in venues all over the globe, but apparently they’re not really happy with their FIFA partners right at this very moment.
🗣️ FIFA president Gianni Infantino:
— Sportskeeda Football (@skworldfootball) November 19, 2022
FIFA is getting the beerless World Cup it deserves: https://t.co/YyVWO9m5Vv
— Defector (@DefectorMedia) November 18, 2022
The clownification of the World Cup continues apace. Just a few days ago we saw Qatari security guards hassling visiting journalists, seemingly more out of occupational habit than with any discernible aim in mind. Today brings news that the Qatari government has reneged on its alcohol-permissive previous promises and now will forbid the sale of beer in and around the stadiums. The Qatari World Cup devolving into a sober shitshow before it even begins. Who on Earth could have foreseen this…
This is clearly a big bummer for fans who spent lots of money getting to Qatar with a certain set of expectations only to see at least one of those expectations radically upturned just two days before the event starts. It’s also hard not to wonder where capricious decisions like this might lead; for instance, if Qatar will say one thing but do another when it comes to alcohol, will the country uphold its already limited pre-tournament promise of safety for LGBTQ fans when the tournament officially kicks off?
And yet in spite of Qatar’s capricious decision-making, the oppressive autocracy that capriciousness represents, and the greater air of gross unfairness that permeates this ill-gotten, bloodily built World Cup, it’s worth pointing out that the real villain in this instance is FIFA itself. Banning alcohol from sporting events is itself no great travesty. Plenty of mostly non-repressive countries do it. One such country is Brazil, which has since 2003 banned the sale of alcohol at stadiums in an effort to curb violence at the events…
FIFA knew exactly what it was getting into when it sold the World Cup to Qatar—and if it didn’t know, it should’ve. (And the same goes for Budweiser.) A government willing to more or less enslave thousands of migrant workers to build the infrastructure necessary to host a World Cup is obviously a government capable of telling FIFA and Budweiser to fuck off with their beer. FIFA’s miscalculation was its own belief that avarice and public relations—the only two principles that hold sway for soccer’s governing body—would be sufficient to bend Qatar’s will, the way it did in Brazil.
But Qatar seems to take seriously the idea that it purchased the rights at this World Cup, and thus it is all theirs to do with as they see fit. This was an entirely predictable turn of events. After selling your soul to the devil, you can’t go around complaining about how mean the guy is.
This is such a funny thing to hide up your sleeve until the very last second. Like being the designated driver for a bank heist and the rest of the team comes flying out the doors with the money and there you are on a unicycle https://t.co/cl7As7oBX5
— Casey Johnston (@caseyjohnston) November 18, 2022
Because they lied and said otherwise to get awarded the event.
— Mike Belleville (@MikeBelleville) November 18, 2022
Speaking of the World Cup, apparently there’s another potential global disaster awaiting there…
ok which world cup game is the one that kills this site
— Walter Hickey (@WaltHickey) November 19, 2022