Soccer

England fans can only drink alcohol free beers in Qatar World Cup stadiums

England fans will be able to enjoy beer during matches at the World Cup in Qatar – but it will set them back £6 per pint despite there being no alcohol in it.

It was previously announced alcoholic lager, which will cost £13 per pint, will be available in certain fan zones at specific times – but rules are different during fixtures.

Ticket holders for the tournament will only be able to drink Budweiser Zero while attending games during the winter showpiece – which might not come as good news to usually lively Three Lions loyals.

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With the news first reported by The Sun, a spokesperson for Budweiser has said: “We are working closely with FIFA, which is managing the relationship with the Qatari authorities, to ensure our activations for the tournament are executed respectfully and in compliance with local rules and regulations.

"We always respect the local customs and culture in the markets in which we operate or host events.

"Our promotion and activation of Budweiser Zero during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar will target the international guests coming to enjoy and celebrate football at the fan sites."

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Beverage reviewers, Free Beer, have described Budweiser Zero as: "Very mild malt flavours, initially very fizzy, and a pretty watery mouthfeel. Bland."

With a spokesperson for FIFA saying that the move is "catering for those who wish to enjoy an alcoholic drink while being respectful towards the local culture".

Hosts Qatar plan to restrict the sale of booze to restaurants, state-run shops and hotels – with alcohol set to be sold at a fan zone on the edge of capital Doha.

The tournament's website warns that "drinking alcohol outside of designated areas is prohibited" and "it is not permitted to bring alcohol into Qatar".

England fans travelling to the World Cup in Qatar later this year would be well advised to leave their e-cigarettes at the border to avoid risking hefty fines or even a prison sentence.

By the letter of the law, penalties for vaping in Qatar can include fines of up to 10,000 riyals (around £2,200) and even three month prison sentence.

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