Budweiser, the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar, has decided to give the stock away to the winning country after the Gulf nation’s revision of its alcohol sales policy.
The biggest sporting event in the world has well and truly kicked off, but unlike any other football world cup before, this one has been marred by controversies since the moment the host nation, Qatar, won its bid in 2010. The Gulf nation was accused of bribing FIFA officials to win its bid, and 10 years since then, it has faced fierce criticism for a number of reasons.
Before being assigned the 2022 edition of the global sport, Qatar had only two FIFA recognized stadiums, lack of road and rail connectivity, and hotels for which they brought manpower mainly from the South Asian region. Since the work began, it has been estimated that over 6,500 laborers have died while working on the tournament project – after being subjected to work for up to 10 hours a day in extreme temperatures.
Along with concerns surrounding human rights, the country has also been criticized for its treatment of women and the LGBTQiA+ community. This has led to fans boycotting the World Cup on a large scale, with fans of countries like the Netherlands expecting as low as 3000 attendees making the trip to Qatar to witness their team play.
After years of controversy, the organizers of the World Cup find themselves in another dispute with Budweiser, the official sponsor of the World Cup. The iconic beer brand has been the lead sponsor of the World Cup since 1986; however, the host nation has banned the consumption of alcohol around the perimeter of the stadium just two days before the start of the tournament.
Budweiser was previously allowed to sell alcoholic beer inside the ticketed area around each of the eight stadiums, three hours before and one hour after each game. However, fans are now left with the alcohol-free alternative, Bud Zero, which they can have at the venues.
The ban has left Budweiser bemused, leaving it with a huge inventory of beer despite having a $70 million sponsorship deal with FIFA. Taking a dig at football’s top governing body, Budweiser wrote a cheeky tweet on their official page saying “well, this is awkward,” which was later deleted.
The lager makers have now gone on and offered all the banned beer stock to the team that wins the competition. The company posted a picture of the massive stockpile of beer and said, “New Day, New Tweet. Winning Country gets the Buds. Who will get them?“
You May Also Like:
There are also rumors of Budweiser filing a lawsuit against FIFA after the losses it will incur following this last-minute announcement. What happens now between FIFA and Budweiser is not yet clear. But moving to the football side of things, as we write this, Saudi Arabia has just beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina, widely regarded as the favorite to win the final prize. So, after a slow start, the World Cup has well and truly come to life.