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Alcohol to be served at the World Cup in Qatar

Organisers have confirmed that alcohol will be served “in select areas within stadiums” at this year’s Qatar World Cup.

The Fifa event will be taking place in a Muslim country in the Middle East for the first time, and the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Islam.

A 40,000-capacity fan zone in the capital Doha has also been confirmed, where a drink can also be purchased.

CEO Nasser Al Khater told BBC Sport said “We want people to come and have experiences they will never forget”.

Al Khater said they are still “finalising our alcohol strategy” but this is the first time the Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery have publicly announced plans to allow fans to drink within the stadium perimeter.

Whether this will be in concourses or inside the stadium bowl itself is yet to be confirmed, but reports suggest ticket holders will be allowed to buy alcohol three hours before kick-off and one hour after the match, but not while the game is in progress.

It marks a significant relaxation of the rules for the tournament as Qatar like other countries in the Middle East has strict controls on alcohol and it is illegal to consume it in public.

Licensed hotel bars and restaurants are the only places that usually sell alcohol, but visitors during the tournament will also be able to purchase a beverage at the Fifa fan festival in Doha’s Al Bidda Park.

During the 2019 Fifa Club World Cup, which took place in Doha and was won by Liverpool, supporters were able to consume alcohol in a site just outside the city.

Qatar has a population of just under three million and it is expected about 1.2 million visitors will be in attendance during the World Cup.

There have been 40 million ticket requests for the tournament, with 2.45 million already being sold, and the organisers said they are “confident” all tickets available to the general public will be sold.

The tournament has been moved to start a day earlier on Sunday, 20 November, with hosts Qatar facing Ecuador.

Editing by Tersoo Nicholas, Editing by Omotola Oguneye