In Qatar, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the streets is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment. The host country of the next World Cup will adapt its rules during the tournament period. Nasser Al Khater, executive director of the World Cup, said in an interview with Sky News that “sober zones” will be created for drunk fans to recover.
“It’s a place to make sure they stay safe, and also don’t pose a threat to anyone,” Al Khater said. Fans who overindulge in alcohol will stay in the tents until they regain their sobriety. The measure is an alternative created by the Qatari government and will only be valid during the World Cup.
Other rules will also change from November 20th, the opening date of the tournament. The sale of alcoholic beverages, normally exclusive to authorized bars and restaurants, will also take place in the vicinity of the stadiums and in the fan zones.
Al Khater addressed other controversial topics in the interview with Sky News. The executive director assured that no one will be punished by anti-LGBTQIA+ laws in force in Qatar. “All we ask is that you respect our culture. As long as people don’t do anything that hurts other people, destroys public property, and behaves in a way that is not dangerous, everyone is welcome,” he declared.
Regarding the rainbow-colored captain’s belt that Harry Kane and other players intend to use, Al Khater said that is an issue to be analyzed by FIFA. But the executive director has made it clear that he is not in favor of the idea. “This is a sporting event that people want to come and enjoy. I don’t think it’s the right thing for sport to turn the Cup into a political platform,” he added.