DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Beer with alcohol is expected to be sold at World Cup stadiums in Qatar but fans may be allowed to take only non-alcoholic drinks to their seats.
FIFA and Qatari organizers are still working on plans to serve all fans who want to drink at games when the tournament starts in November in the Muslim-majority country.
Hospitality packages offering “premium beverages” at stadiums have been sold since February 2021 but a policy for most fans at the eight venues and long-time World Cup sponsor Budweiser still needs to be finalized less than five months before the tournament.
The favored option is serving beer with alcohol in stadium compounds before and after games and allowing fans to take non-alcoholic Budweiser Zero to their seats.
Qatar has tested its alcohol policies when hosting soccer including the 2019 Club World Cup — an event that featured European champion Liverpool, South American champion Flamengo and Mexican club Monterrey.
At that tournament, a drinking zone was created on the outskirts of Doha at a golf club selling beers for $6, much cheaper than typically available at high-end downtown hotels.
In 2019, a flaw in the plan took fans on one-hour trips through rush hour traffic to games on buses lacking toilets.
The golf club venue is set to be considered again for the World Cup, which is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18.
Organizers expect about 1.2 million visitors at the 32-team tournament.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports