How hard will it be for football fans to find a beer in Qatar?

epa10312678 A catering staff at a drinks stand at the 2022 FIFA World Cup media center in Doha, Qatar, November 18, 2022. Alcohol will be banned for fans in and around the stadiums during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, FIFA confirmed on November 18, 2022, just two days before the start of the tournament. It will still be available at the FIFA Fan Festival. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA

Spoiler alert: It won’t be easy (Image: EPA)

Toasting to the World Cup is a cherished tradition for many football fans.

But this year’s tournament will be quite different.

Qatar is known for its strict laws regarding alcohol. Travel advice from states: “It is an offense to drink alcohol or be intoxicated in public.”

“Alcohol is only available in licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in Qatar can obtain alcohol with a permit system.”

But still thousands of fans are expected to arrive Qatar to support their teams over the next three weeks.

The World Cup is the greatest prize in sport and the vast majority of fans in the host country will manage to enjoy it without caring.

Of course, there’s always a minority who manage to find themselves on the wrong side of the law – and despite limited access to alcohol, chances are a British fan or two could be among them.


A Budweiser beer stands on a table at a concession stand at the 2022 FIFA World Cup media center in Doha, Qatar, November 18, 2022.

A last-minute phone call has resulted in a red card for Budweiser drinks (Image: EPA)

The sale of alcohol in World Cup stadiums in Qatar was banned on Friday, just two days before the tournament kicks off.

Fans can no longer purchase Budweiser, which was due to be the only alcoholic beverage available to fans due to its sponsorship of FIFA.

Now no one attending matches will be allowed to consume alcohol within the stadium area, with the exception of corporate spectators.

FIFA released a statement on Friday confirming that “following talks between host country authorities and FIFA” the beer outlets have been removed from the stadium perimeter.

Violation of this rule may be attempted by some football fans but will result in severe fines or penalties.

Anyone arrested during the World Cup pending further investigation will “most likely” wash up in central prison, according to the UK government’s official advice.

drinking on the street

Brazilian fans cheer as they pose in Doha on November 19, 2022 ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP via Getty Images)

Booze filled parties on the streets when England wins? Unlikely (Image: Alberto PIZZOLI/AFP)

Alcohol is not illegal in Qatar – but drinking in public is illegal and getting drunk in public is a crime.

In general, public drunkenness in Qatar is punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment.

The country’s security chief said police will turn a blind eye to most offenses during the World Cup.

But officials may still make arrests if someone gets into a drunken brawl or damage public property, so drunken outrage when England lose a game will be more than frowned upon.

hotels and bars

A bartender prepares cocktails at a restaurant on the 22-deck cruise ship MSC World Europa, a floating hotel docked at the Port of Doha and accommodating around 6,700 World Cup fans, Sunday, November 13, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. a drink to. Final Preparations are underway for the FIFA World Cup, which begins on November 20 when Qatar meets Ecuador. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

A bartender prepares a drink at a restaurant on the MSC World Europa cruise ship, a floating hotel docked in Doha Port that can accommodate around 6,700 World Cup fans in Qatar (Image: AP).

It’s safe – and legal – to drink in your hotel if you do it with due diligence!

Alcohol is served in hotels, restaurants and bars with licenses in Qatar. It is illegal to consume it elsewhere.

The legal drinking age is 21, and bouncers in bars often ask for photo ID or a passport upon entry – so make sure you have one if you’re attending the World Cup.

But remember, booze isn’t going to be cheap.

Qatar’s average pint costs £9.98, more than double the UK price of £4.07, according to a study of 195 countries.

In comparison, fans going to the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019, which Liverpool won, could buy a £5 beer in the official areas.

drinks at home

Football fans cheer on their favorite team while enjoying drinks in the bar. Group of supporters celebrating victory while watching a football match on TV in a club. Happy friends scream while cheering for a goal.

Stay home to follow the three lions? (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Due to the difficulties football fans are facing in Qatar, many alcohol companies are trying to target stay-at-home fans instead.

Tee soccer superstar Gareth Bale, who has become co-owner of a whiskey distillery, is hoping fans will raise a glass to the potent World Cup stuff.

The Superfit player has become a shareholder in Penderyn Distillery, which makes the spirit in the Welsh hills.

Bale, 33, said: “Penderyn single-handedly revived whiskey production in Wales and has become an international success story through their passion for the product and commitment to quality. It is very gratifying to be able to play my part in their continued success.’

Health-conscious Gareth, a total vegan, previously said he “dislikes the taste” of alcohol but said he’s happy to be working on the alcohol project.

The Los Angeles and Wales star has already launched his own range of ‘Bale Ale’ beers to be sold in supermarkets – although it’s an absolute tea.

The Bale Ale range on sale in Tesco ahead of the World Cup in Qatar for fans put off by the Middle East’s no-alcohol rule.

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Justin Scacco

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