With just over 48 hours to go until the World Cup kicks off, Qatar have announced that there will be no alcohol sales within the stadium.
Normally public consumption of alcohol is banned in Qatar as it stands and it will be no different in the stadiums. Fans in Qatar will be limited to hotel bars in order to drink or in dedicated fan zone raves that start at 10am.
It should be said that this is the case in various countries – in the United Kingdom, fans are not permitted to drink at their seats either.
However many are focusing on the fact that Qatar had said previously that fans would be able to drink in stadiums but have since lobbied FIFA in order to change that.
Normally FIFA exercise a significant amount of control over their tournaments and this is very much out of the ordinary for an event that has been many years in the planning.
There is one exception. Fans with corporate hospitality tickets will be allowed to drink. However those tickets cost over €20k, making it an expensive trip to the bar.
💰 You can get alcohol inside a stadium at the World Cup in Qatar if you have a corporate hospitality ticket, where prices start at £19,000.
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 18, 2022
This is also the case in the United Kingdom. The story highlights both the unusual nature of this World Cup where FIFA have had far less control over matters and also the difference in treatment of fans. The affluent are given different rules than the rest of the fans, showing that not only is the class divide across the world more present than ever, the distance is growing.