The venues for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar could be an alcohol-free zone.
This year’s edition of the World Cup will be the first held in a Muslim country and there will be strict controls on alcohol consumption. Many are waiting to hear how organisers are planning to handle streams football fans who love to down a few pints during a match.
According to Reuters, organisers will allow alcoholic-beer sales outside of the venues before and after the matches, but there will be a complete ban on the stadiums inside.
Imagine the beer lines after 90-minutes of alcohol-free football viewing.
Given the country has a law against being drunk in public, it is not entirely surprising, however, it will still be a major blow to the 1.2 million fans who would normally let loose at a World Cup.
The Gulf Arab state isn’t completely ‘dry’, like Saudi Arabia, meaning fans will be allowed to buy beer during restricted times and at certain venues in Doha.
Alcohol will be available to certain fans at the Doha Golf Club, however, that is some distance away from stadiums and the fan zones.
But there is some intriguing news, with plans for a deserted plot to be transformed into a 10,000-capacity venue promising techno music and alcohol.
FIFA’s website, funnily enough, advertises ‘beers, champagne, sommelier-selected wines, and premium spirits’ inside the stadium VIP hospitality suites, but expect that to change.
Fans flying into the country are prohibited from even buying airport duty-free alcohol and bringing it through customs.
The pints will only be available at a handful of licensed hotels and clubs, allegedly costing upwards of $26 (£15).
As for beers of the nose variety, fans were told that those who try to smuggle drugs into the country could face the death penalty.
According to Law No. 9 of 1987 on Control and Regulation of Control and Regulation of Narcotic Drugs and Dangerous Psychotropic Substances, people who smuggle drugs into the country face 20 years in prison and a fine of between 100,000 (AU$38,970, £21,349) and 300,000 riyals (AU$116,722, £64,047).
Repeat offenders, however, could be sentenced to death or life in prison.
The UK government has also warned travellers about the stringent laws in Qatar and the security measures that are in place upon entering.
On the government website, it states: "There is zero tolerance for drugs-related offences. The penalties for the use of, trafficking, smuggling and possession of drugs (even residual amounts) are severe.
"Punishment can include lengthy custodial sentences, heavy fines and deportation. Many people transit via Hamad International Airport on their way to other destinations.
"The airport makes use of the latest security technology, all bags are scanned and transiting passengers carrying even residual amounts of drugs may be arrested."
Featured Image Credit: Hasan Zaidi / Alamy. dpa picture alliance / Alamy.
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