Budweiser sends unsold World Cup beer to Siegerland
Cases of Budweiser set to be sold during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar will instead go to fans of the country that wins the global football 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 inside the stadiums – but without alcohol as the host district announced a surprise ban on alcohol sales in stadiums. Anheuser-Busch InBev has now announced that it will bring the “celebration from the FIFA World Cup stadiums to the fans of the winning country”.
“We will host the ultimate championship celebration for the victorious country,” the Belgian brewer said in a statement, adding that he will reveal more details about the beer gift as the tournament nears the final on December 18.
Anheuser-Busch InBev did not disclose how many cases would be shipped or how the alcohol would be shipped.
New day, new tweet. The winning country gets the buds. who gets them pic.twitter.com/Vv2YFxIZa1
— Budweiser (@Budweiser) November 19, 2022
FIFA officials announced last week that no alcohol will be sold at the eight stadiums in Qatar that will host matches, prompting complaints from visiting fans. The Muslim country is conservative and strictly regulates the sale and consumption of alcohol.
Fans can still buy Bud Zero, Budweiser’s soft drink, at stadiums in Qatar, FIFA said.
The announcement angered 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 kick-off and ending an hour after the final whistle.
Since 1986, AB InBev has paid tens of millions of dollars for exclusive beer sales rights during every World Cup. This year’s sponsorship is worth $112 million, Yahoo Sports reported. With no beer being sold in Qatar, Budweiser plans to ask FIFA for a $48.2 million rebate on its 2026 deal, British tabloid The Sun reported.
AB InBev renewed its contract with FIFA in 2011 after Qatar was controversially chosen as the host country. The company will pay $170 million in its deal with FIFA for the next World Cup in 2026, to be held jointly in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Yahoo reported.
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Qatar isn’t the first country to face a FIFA alcohol problem. At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the host country had to change a law to allow the sale of alcohol in stadiums.
This year’s tournament continues on Wednesday with four games. FIFA will broadcast four more matches on Thanksgiving, including Brazil vs Serbia.
Christopher J Brooks