Qatar warns World Cup fans about smuggling alcohol into country, drinking only allowed in designated areas

·2 min read

Heed this warning if you plan to drink and cheer on your country in Qatar.

Fans visiting the 2022 Men’s World Cup will not be allowed to bring booze for personal consumption into the country, as the head of the country’s safety and security committee issued a warning to global soccer fans at a press conference against trying to smuggle alcohol into the Arab country.

“There are specific measures,” Col. Jassim Abdulrahim Al Sayed of the safety and security operations committee told ESPN at a news conference. “I think alcohol will not be allowed through the airport and suitcases.”

But although alcohol consumption in Qatar is heavily restricted — you can reportedly land in prison for six months for drinking in public and get slapped with a fine up to 3,000 riyal ($800) — the World Cup won’t be a completely dry event.

“There are locations where alcohol will be sold throughout the country,” the official assured.

So, all hope isn’t lost if you want a drink ... especially if you favor Budweiser.

The tournament organizers in Qatar have agreed to let Budweiser — a big World Cup sponsor — pour beers in stadiums and designated fan zones for the tournament that begins on Nov. 20.

And alcohol can be had inside hotels.

But don’t plan to start drinking until after 6:30 p.m. local time.

“The fanfest will serve from 6:30 p.m., but will attract a lot of families and children and we want to give them opportunity to be in alcohol-free zone for certain parts of the day,” Qatar 2022 chief executive Nasser Al Khater told ESPN. “Later, fans will have alcohol readily available.”

Some games begin as early as 1 p.m. local time.

Americans will be among the global fans that have to abide by these alcohol restrictions in Qatar as the USMNT qualified for the World Cup back in March after sitting out the 2018 tournament in Russia.

But if you really want to watch soccer and drink yourself silly, just wait for the Women’s World Cup in Australia (and New Zealand) next summer.