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Without beer, something is missing in the football stadium

At no other football World Cup in history has the question of serving beer been as controversial as this year's.

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Without beer, something is missing in the football stadium

At no other football World Cup in history has the question of serving beer been as controversial as this year's. The reason is obvious: Qatar is the first Muslim country to host the World Cup. The state religion is Wahhabi Islam, which is known for its strict morals. For example, he forbids non-Muslims to build their places of worship inside the capital Doha - they have to be content with a religious complex outside the city.

Qatari Wahhabism prohibits Muslims from drinking any kind of alcohol, while non-Muslims in Qatar are only allowed to drink in private. Alcohol consumption is just as forbidden in public football stadiums as it is on the street - unlike in Germany, where drinking beer is part of the celebration culture in almost every football stadium. Just like in most other countries in Europe and America.

At the same time, hospitality is extremely important in the culture of the World Cup country Qatar. A dilemma therefore arises. What is more important, the alcohol ban or hospitality? There is only one way out of this dilemma: compromise. So a solution that both hardcore football fans and conservative Qataris have to live with. The compromise many had hoped for was unveiled on Saturday.

Fifa and World Cup sponsor Budweiser have agreed that alcoholic beer may be served during the tournament. But only under strict conditions: no alcohol is allowed during the football game, and you are not allowed to drink in the stadium either. But only on the square in front of it - at the earliest three hours before the game starts and at the latest one hour afterwards. Beer is also said to flow in the Fifa fan zone in the capital Doha, but only from 6.30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The only beer available at the stadium is non-alcoholic beer.

But: Can there be a football atmosphere? Can it be a big, carefree celebration, like back then in Germany or Brazil? That is very difficult to imagine. The Qatari compromise solution could even remind some fans from Bavaria of the ban on serving alcohol in Bavaria, which prohibited hosts from serving alcohol after 10 p.m. during the Corona autumn of 2020. And so you won't be able to blame the fans around the world if the upcoming World Cup doesn't say: "Football's coming home". But: We stay at home.

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