Budweiser will ship unsold World Cup beer to winning country

Cases of Budweiser that were due to be sold during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar will instead go to fans in the country that won the world soccer tournament, the beer brand’s parent company announced this week.

The World Cup kicked off on Sunday with fans cheering on their favorite teams from living room sofas, neighborhood bars and in stadiums – but without alcohol, as the host country announced a surprise ban on the sale of alcohol in stadiums. stadiums. Now, Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced its intention to bring the “celebration of FIFA World Cup stadiums to the fans of the winning country”.

“We will organize the ultimate celebration of the championship for the winning country,” the Belgian brewer said in a statement, adding that he would provide more details on the beer giveaway closer to the final on December 18.

Anheuser-Busch InBev did not disclose how many cases would be sent or how the alcohol would be transported.

FIFA officials announced last week that no alcohol will be sold in Qatar’s eight stadiums organize matches, attract complaints from visiting fans. The Muslim country is conservative and tightly regulates alcohol sales and consumption.

Fans can still buy Bud Zero, Budweiser’s non-alcoholic drink, at stadiums in Qatar, FIFA said.

The announcement upset fans in part because Qatar said in September it would allow ticketed fans to buy alcoholic beer at World Cup matches starting three hours before kickoff. starting and ending one hour after the final whistle.

Since 1986, AB InBev has paid tens of millions of dollars at every World Cup for exclusive rights to sell beer. This year’s sponsorship is worth $112 million, Yahoo Sports reported. Because the beer will not be sold in Qatar, Budweiser plans to ask FIFA for a $48.2 million discount on its 2026 deal, British tabloid The Sun reported.

AB InBev renewed its agreement with FIFA in 2011, after Qatar has been controversial as hosts. The company will pay $170 million in its 2026 deal with FIFA for the next World Cup, which will be held jointly in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Yahoo reported.

MoneyWatch: World Cup economics as Qatar seeks to boost tourism


Qatar is not the first country to face a FIFA drinking problem. During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the host country was forced to change a law to allow the sale of alcohol in stadiums.

This year’s tournament continues with four matches on Wednesday. FIFA will broadcast four more matches on Thanksgiving, including Brazil taking on Serbia.

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