New York, USA (CNN) — Qatar’s last-minute decision to ban alcohol at World Cup stadiums has left Budweiser with loads of beer on its hands, but the company has an ingenious solution to drain it.
The company said in a tweet that it will ship unsold quantities of alcoholic beer to the country that wins the tournament. The company confirmed the plans in a statement to CNN, writing that it “wants to bring the celebrations from the stadiums of the World Cup to the fans of the winning nation.”
An Anheuser-Busch InBev spokesperson said in a statement: “We will be hosting the final tournament celebration for the winning nation. For the winning fans, they took home the World Cup. More details will be shared as we get closer to the finals.”
Last week, just days before the World Cup kicked off, Qatar announced that its eight stadiums could no longer sell Budweiser alcoholic beverages, leaving fans with only one beer option: non-alcoholic beer.
Qatar is a very conservative Muslim country, and it tightly regulates the sale and use of alcoholic beverages. Officials said in September that fans with tickets would be able to purchase an alcoholic beer three hours before kick-off and for an hour after the final whistle, but not during the match.
Football’s governing body, FIFA, said last week: “Following discussions between the host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been taken to limit the sale of alcoholic beverages to the FIFA Fan Fest, other fan destinations and licensed venues, and to remove beer sales points from the vicinity of the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums in Diameter.”
Budweiser tweeted, “Well, that’s inappropriate,” though the post on social media was quickly deleted.
An AB-InBev spokesperson said in a previous statement: “As a partner of FIFA for more than three decades, we look forward to revitalizing World Cup campaigns around the world to celebrate football with our customers. It is not possible to go ahead with some planned stands activities due to circumstances beyond our control.” “
AB InBev has paid $75 million to sponsor FIFA, according to multiple reports. Therefore, the decision was so painful to the company’s World Cup marketing plans that it would significantly reduce its presence to the thousands of fans at the World Cup. However, arguably for the most part – her TV commercials with King of Football Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. – were unaffected.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will run until December 18.