The head of Qatar’s safety and security committee issued a warning for World Cup fans attempting to sneak alcohol into the country. Drinking in public is illegal in many parts of Qatar and more measures will soon be implemented specifically for soccer fans.

Though alcohol will be available for purchase at hotels, as well as in stadiums through World Cup sponsor Budweiser, all outside alcohol will be strictly prohibited. This is a radical change from past World Cups and also clashes with soccer fan cultures in many other parts of the world. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Moscow proprietors were reportedly running out of beer as fans partied before, during and after games.

At a press conference in Doha, Col. Jassim Abdulrahim Al Sayed told reporters that the country was preparing for people to break existing laws in the country.

“There are specific measures,” Al Sayed said. “I think alcohol will not be allowed through the airport and suitcases.


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Anyone guilty of public drinking in Qatar under normal circumstances has to pay fines worth hundreds of dollars, and with World Cup fans expecting a typical atmosphere, officials are trying to find a way to protect pre-existing laws while hosting foreign fans. Encouraging fans to enjoy themselves in designated areas seems to be the primary solution.

“There is a misconception about alcohol sales in stadiums and designated zones,” Chief Executive Nasser Al Khater said. “We are working like any other World Cup, like usual.

Al Khater also said that the country was looking to make the event more welcoming for children and families by keeping drinking in certain areas. These restrictions will have an impact on the way many fans enjoy the World Cup, as the country is only providing a semblance of the usual environment, as most alcohol will not be served until 6:30 p.m. regardless of earlier game times.

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