With just days to go until the World Cup begins, the Qatari hosts are reportedly pressuring Fifa to stop the sale of beer at the eight tournament stadiums in what would be an astonishing U-turn.
The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, but it is due to be available in the area immediately outside match venues and fan zones, as well as within hotels.
Budweiser is one of Fifa’s biggest sponsors but was told on Saturday to relocate stalls selling its product at stadiums to less prominent locations.
The Times reports that Qatar 2022 now wants to go even further and that discussions are ongoing between Fifa and Budweiser. A decision is expected on Friday but it is believed beer could be banned from all stadiums.
Budweiser remains one of Fifa’s key partners and if it is denied the opportunity to sell beer or to have any visibility at the World Cup matches, then football’s governing body would be in breach of a multi-million dollar contract.
Fifa and the Budweiser owner AB InBev have been approached for comment.
In response to the request to move its outlets, AB InBev told Sky News: “AB InBev was informed on 12 November and are working with Fifa to relocate the concession outlets to locations as directed. We are working with Fifa to bring the best possible experience to the fans. Our focus is on delivering the best possible consumer experience under the new circumstances.”
If the beer ban goes ahead, the only place supporters will be able to drink alcohol will be at a designated fan park, where Budweiser has already revealed a 500ml drink will cost fans the pretty price of £11.60.
A few hotel bars will typically charge around £12-£15 for a beer or glass of wine.