Alcoholic beverages won’t be marketed near the stadiums hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Only non-alcoholic items will be marketed near stadiums, according to Qatari officials. FIFA and AB-InBev, the world’s largest brewer, must follow.
Budweiser, a beer brand owned by AB-InBev, donates around $75 million every four years to FIFA as part of the sponsorship agreement. In exchange, the large beer corporation gains access to FIFA’s massive fan base.
During the FIFA World Cup 2022, only non-alcoholic beverages will be offered close to the stadiums, according to Qatari officials. On November 20, 2022, two days before the games are scheduled to begin, the announcement was made. Many fans have made their disappointment clear on many social media platforms regarding the same.
“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 … stadium perimeters,” FIFA said in a statement.
The suspension was a significant shock to FIFA’s main sponsor, US-based Budweiser, which has allegedly paid $75 million to the sponsorship deal. And now that it won’t be able to market its goods or have any visibility at the games, the value of its brand will decline. The multimillion dollar agreement that FIFA and the beverage company have signed would be completely broken in this situation.
Well, this is awkward, Budweiser’s Twitter account tweeted as the news was being reported. Later, the tweet was taken down.
In a statement, Budweiser Beer’s parent company, Ab InBev, recognised that some of its plans “cannot move forward owing to circumstances beyond our control.”
Although FIFA’s demand for the sale of alcohol in stadiums was something Qatar agreed to when it originally announced its candidacy to host the World Cup, the specifics weren’t made public until September, only 11 weeks before the first game. This suggests how difficult the discussions may have been. According to a statement released by FIFA on Friday, non-alcoholic beer will continue to be sold at the eight stadiums, while other alcoholic beverages will be supplied in the opulent hospitality areas of the venues.