Qatar mulling allowing alcohol in World Cup stadiums

Doha: Qatar is still considering whether to allow alcohol in stadiums when it hosts the 2022 World Cup, though a senior official on Wednesday said he did not see a need for it.

"Alcohol will be allowed in Qatar. We`re discussing with FIFA the extent of it and where exactly. You`ve got different perspectives coming out of Brazil, England and Russia. There`s obviously a serious issue, and it`s something we`re looking into," 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi told reporters at a sports security conference in the Qatari capital.

"For me personally, I don`t see the reason for it being in the stadiums, but it`s something we`re discussing with FIFA."

Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation in the Arabian Gulf, currently limits the sale of alcohol primarily to five-star hotels.

Brazil, which will host the 2014 World Cup, has seen delays in approving a so-called World Cup bill, which would overturn a ban on the sale of alcohol in Brazilian stadiums.

Alcohol sales have been banned from football stadiums in Brazil since 2003 in an effort to reduce alcohol-related sports violence.

FIFA has said it will defend the commercial rights of its sponsors, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, which will sponsor the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

"It`s important for us to ensure that everyone who comes has a great time and enjoys themselves, while at the same time showcasing the culture of the Arab world," Thawadi said.

Qatar was the surprise winner of a December 2010 FIFA vote to choose the 2022 host country, edging out Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

It plans to build solar-powered, air-conditioned stadiums to overcome the sweltering summer heat as well as housing, infrastructure and transport for the event.

Bureau Report

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