Alcohol sales are to be banned at stadiums at this year's World Cup in Qatar, FIFA confirmed in a statement published on Friday.
The decision, which comes just two days before the tournament's opening match between the host nation and Ecuador, reverses FIFA's previous decision to allow purchases of alcoholic beverages "in select areas within stadiums".
"Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters," the statement read.
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The Football Supporters' Association (FSA) sharply criticised FIFA's decision to reverse course so close to the start of the tournament.
"Some fans like a beer at the match, and some don't, but the real issue is the last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem — the total lack of communication and clarity from the organising committee to supporters," the FSA tweeted.
In a move which is unlikely to appease beer-loving football fans, FIFA noted that the ban will have "no impact [on] the sale of Bud Zero", a non-alcoholic beer, throughout the duration of this year's tournament.