Qatar Bans Drinking Alcohol in Public For World Cup 2022
Qatar has made a stand in regards to the consumption of alcohol in public during the World Cup 2022, saying that the country will not change its stance on public drinking when it hosts the football tournament.
The conservative Muslim country currently requires foreign nationals to apply for licenses in order to drink alcohol, and though hotels do serve alcoholic beverages, it is illegal to be intoxicated outdoors. Despite the large number of visitors set to travel to the country, Qatar isn’t budging from this stance, saying that alcohol will only be allowed in “far-away places.”
According to an interview with Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq, via Time, the secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Al-Thawadi said: “There will be no alcohol consumption on the streets, squares and public places and that is final.” He added: “We are against the provision of alcohol in stadiums and their surroundings.”
With many having already complained about the World Cup 2022 being held in Qatar, with the heat of the country’s summer forcing the event to take place in the winter and therefore impacting upon the scheduling of domestic football, this is likely to inspire more criticism from those who believe FIFA should have opted for a different country to host the competition. While it’s not exactly surprising that Qatar wouldn’t look to change its country’s laws in order to accommodate football supporters, it’s arguable that the various stipulations required by the country in order to host the World Cup should have factored into FIFA’s decision.
The prohibiting of public alcohol consumption during the World Cup 2022 follows the disastrous events surrounding Euro 2016, where host country France found itself having to up its police presence as a result of drunken brawls between fans. Such as the poor behaviour of England and Russia supporters that then-Prime Minister David Cameron personally contacted the French government in order to offer police support, with there being concerns that the England national squad would be ousted from the tournament as a result. Qatar has reportedly expressed concerns that the same would ensue at the World Cup 2022, only on a larger scale, so it’s imaginable that there will be a crack down on those found drinking alcohol in public when the competition begins.