World cup grows closer with continued uncertainty
By: Ethan Hill
Sep. 22, 2022
Photo Credit: Associated Press
With no shortage of debate and dramatics, the controversial preparation for this year’s FIFA World Cup continues to generate headlines.
The upcoming event in Qatar has already drawn criticism for its apparent bid corruption, unusual winter start date, and mistreatment of stadium construction workers. In the latest wave of skepticism levied at Qatar, questions regarding housing of fans and alcohol policies have been addressed.
It is no secret that Qatar is a shockingly small host country by World Cup standards, but the nation has recently claimed they’re prepared for the onslaught of World Cup fans and tourists. It has been predicted that more than one million fans will travel to Qatar for the World Cup in November. Qatar’s population currently sits at 2.7 million, which indicates that the nation will welcome a 37% increase in population throughout the World Cup. These alarming statistics pose the million dollar question; where will travelers find housing?
The answer is a multitude of various housing options Qatar has to offer. Qatar has referred to resorts, cruise ships, apartments, villas, fan villages, and desert camping as available choices, pending availability.
Despite these efforts, projections communicate that housing will fill up quickly, and it is likely some tourists will need to stay outside of the country. Although disgruntling to some fans, Qatar has made daily flights available, which will allow fans to fly in and out of the country for matches.
In addition to resolving the housing conundrum, Qatar has also addressed the vending of alcoholic beverages in World Cup stadiums. While Qatar typically imposes strict legislative and religious regulations on the consumption of alcohol, they’ve been eased for the World Cup and its match-goers. A similar situation occurred in 2014 at the World Cup held in Brazil. Brazilian law held major restrictions and bans on the consumption of alcohol, but Brazilian officials were encouraged by FIFA to pass legislation that removed the bans for World Cup matches.
Earlier this month, World Cup Organizers in Qatar announced alcoholic Budweiser will be served near stadiums. While fans won’t be able to purchase alcoholic beer at regular stadium concession stands, consumption of alcoholic beer will be allowed at select zones within stadium perimeters, and purchasable at official fan festivals before and after games.
In addition to the vending of alcoholic beer, stadiums will also carry Budweiser’s new non-alcoholic beer, which, unlike its counterpart, can be purchased while matches are being played.
As the World Cup approaches, Qatar’s frantic search for solutions continues to inspire doubt amongst spectators. With such little time and so many unanswered questions, all eyes are on the small desert peninsula to provide the grand spectacle fans are accustomed to. Come late November, Qatar will relish in triumph or face global embarrassment.