In a last-minute decision, Qatar banned beer sales around its eight World Cup stadiums in a stunning political reversal, despite Budweiser being one of the event’s sponsors. What happens to all the extra beer? Well, the brand decided to put the extra drinks to good use.
“New day, new tweet. The winning country gets the Buds. Who gets them?” Budweiser tweeted.
New day, new tweet. The winning country gets the Buds. Who will get them? pic.twitter.com/Vv2YFxIZa1
— Budweiser (@Budweiser) November 19, 2022
The governing body of the football world said the decision was made after “discussions” with the organizers of the World Cup, an Islamic state that strictly limits alcohol consumption, AFP reported.
It gave no reason for the surprise decision, but media reports said there had been an intervention by Qatar’s ruling family.
Meanwhile, FIFA could take a $70 million hit after the beer ban, according to a report from Fox Sports. The brand has a deal worth around A$112 million with FIFA for this World Cup. Budweiser also has a deal for the 2026 World Cup worth up to A$170 million.
Qatar has spent tens of billions of dollars preparing for the World Cup and has predicted that more than a million fans will visit the country for the 29-day tournament.
But the strict cultural rules have come under international scrutiny.
Budweiser said on Friday that restrictions on World Cup matches were “out of our control” after FIFA and host country Qatar announced that beer sales around stadiums would not take place.
As partners of the world governing body of football “for more than three decades, we look forward to our activations of FIFA World Cup campaigns around the world to celebrate football with our consumers,” said a spokesman for AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, in a statement to AFP.
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