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Qatari royals ‘demand total ban on alcohol sales in World Cup stadiums’ just 48 hours before tournament starts

Qatari royal family

The Qatari royal family is demanding a total ban on the sale of alcohol in all World Cup stadiums, just two days before the tournament kicks off.

The host country – where alcohol sales are generally restricted to foreigners drinking in approved hotels and restaurants, or to non-Muslim residents with special permits at home – has asked FIFA to stop the sale of beer in the eight World Cup stadiums.

If the ban is upheld, Budweiser – one of the tournament’s biggest sponsors – will not be able to sell its beer to fans at games and could put Fifa in breach of a multi-million dollar contract with the company.

Discussions on the matter are believed to be ongoing between Budweiser and Fifa, although The Times says Budweiser’s sales cut is now “likely” after the Qatari royal family intervened. MailOnline has contacted the two for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

The New York Times reported that this order came from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Qatari leader’s brother.

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