Dutch sports minister Conny Helder has said that Qatar’s last minute decision not to allow fans to buy beer in the World Cup stadiums is ‘the rule of the country’ and should be adhered to.
Helder, who will be attending the World Cup to represent the Dutch government, told the AD that Qatar ‘should respect other freedoms’, but did not explicitly refer to LGBTI rights, which are a major cause for concern in the Gulf state.
‘But if we are talking about beer, then it is less of a disaster,’ she said.
World football body Fifa said on Friday that alcohol sales will be confined to special ‘fan zones’ away from the stadiums where it will cost around €14 a glass. In addition, beer will only be available at certain times and in limited quantities.
‘The host country authorities and Fifa will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans,’ the Fifa statement said.
Alcohol will, reportedly, still be available in stadium sky boxes, although Fifa has not yet confirmed this. Alcohol free beer Bud Zero, from sponsor Budweiser, will be freely available in the stadiums.
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