Fifa World Cup 2022: Not Just Beer, There’s A Strict No On Many Other Things Too In Qatar

Qatar might come across as a cultural shock for the football fan visiting the desert nation for the Fifa World Cup 2022. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to enjoy your stay through the duration of the mega tournament
Fifa World Cup 2022: Not Just Beer, There’s A Strict No On Many Other Things Too In Qatar

Qatar has banned the sale of beer at the Fifa World Cup 2022 stadiums, disappointing thousands of football fans ahead of the month-long games scheduled to kick off from November 20, 2022.

Budweiser, which has been the official sponsor of the Fifa World Cup since the past several editions of the mega sports event, has been guarded in its response. 

But football fans have been left thoroughly disappointed. They won’t be able to drown in mugs of froth either in exuberance of victory, or sorrow of loss as their favourite teams battle it out on the ground through 90 minutes of pure adrenalin rush and raw emotions. 

Fans can, however, have not just beer, but even wines and premium spirits at the VIP boxes, or at the five-star hotels. 

For the regular fans though, Budweiser will sell its non-alcoholic beer at the stadiums.

But the ban on beer is just one of the many bans and culture shocks you might face in this conservative desert nation.

Qatar is a conservative Muslim country, a semi-constitutional monarchy, governed by Shariah, the Islamic law, and visitors will have to follow certain rules and customs during their stay throughout the games.

So, before you get in for a culture shock, here are few pointers to keep in mind to enjoy the experience through your month-long stay through the games and avoid any unnecessary faux pas.

Food: Pork is banned in Qatar, and carrying of pork-based products is not allowed. So, ham, bacon and sausages will be very much off the menu. Food that will be served has to be halal. If you are not keen on having halal meat products, you will have to stay off meat for the duration of the tournament, too.

Alcohol: Drinking alcohol is strictly forbidden in public places. Only licensed establishments can serve alcohol, but you cannot carry the bottle with you. Previously, Qatar had agreed to let fans enjoy beer at the stadiums and at the games village, but now that is off limits as well. They will be available at the VIP boxes and hotels. Non-alcoholic beers will be available at the stadiums. 

Dress Code: You don’t have to wear the thawb and keffiyeh or hijab to move around in Qatar. But make sure you dress modestly. Don’t go around wearing vests or shorts and short skirts. 

Qatar has requested football fans to avoid revealing clothes and keep shoulders and knees covered. 

Live-In: If you are coming to Qatar with your girlfriend or partner, you will in all likelihood need separate rooms. 

“Sex is very much off the menu, unless you are coming as a married couple. There definitely will be no one-night stands at this tournament,” Daily Star quoted Qatar Police as saying.

The same would be true for same-sex couple. Same-sex relations between men are illegal and punishable. Penalties include lashings, lengthy prison sentence and/or deportation. Same-sex relations between women are also frowned upon because of conservative cultural norms.

Public display of affection should also be avoided for reasons of propriety.

Pride Flag: Supporting your country at the football matches by wearing team jerseys and carrying the national flag is part and parcel of the game. 

At times, fans often make political or cultural statements by raising different banners, flags or posters voicing their opinion on issues related to environment, feminism, gay rights, or women empowerment. 

That said, raising the Pride Flag should be best avoided. There is still no clarity from authorities in Qatar on whether they will allow raising the Pride Flag at the match venues. 

The main reason, according to Qatar, behind banning beer was that the liquor isn’t part of the culture of the Middle East and Asia from where a lot of fans will be coming to see the matches. Qatar wanted the game to be enjoyable for all. By that logic, Qatar is likely to enforce a ban on the Pride Flag as well.

Read more about the Fifa World Cup 2022 budget plans here.

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