Qatar, in reversal, bans alcohol sales at World Cup stadiums

DOHA, Qatar - Two days before the start of the world's biggest sporting event, FIFA announced that the sale of beer would be banned at eight World Cup stadiums in Qatar.

FIFA said in a statement that the decision was made "after discussions between the host country's authorities and FIFA".

Sales are also permitted in licensed venues as well as in-stadium luxury suites, which serve wine, liquor and custom World Cup 2022 champagne.

FIFA said the decision would ensure "the stadium and surrounding area provide a pleasant, respectful and enjoyable experience for all fans."

The sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, an energy-rich Persian Gulf country that practices an orthodox form of Islam known as Wahhabism. Public consumption of alcohol is permitted only in some hotels and restaurants.