Football fans’ hearts were broken at this year’s World Cup before a ball was even kicked – after host country Qatar announced a last-minute ban on beer in stadiums .
But one Seattle fan has created a handy map of bars around Doha, Qatar’s capital, to make sure fans don’t get thirsty.
Ed Ball, an aerospace salesman, first built the card as “something useful” for himself.
While Qatar announced the beer ban in stadiums just two days before the tournament kicked off, its tool has racked up more than half a million views.
The alcohol reversal is just the latest controversy to hit the tournament. FIFA has been heavily criticized for its decision to award the country hosting rights due to Qatar’s human rights record.
Ball began creating the map several months before the tournament. It includes approximately 200 locations that sell alcohol. He estimates it took 100 hours to complete.
After creating a Twitter account to promote the project, he gradually began to collect views. Ever since Qatar’s tough stance on alcohol became a hot topic, it’s gone viral – used by fans around the world, including England and Mexico.
Qatar has not announced any bars or other drinking venues when promoting the World Cup and the event’s chief organizer Nasser Al Khater said “alcohol is not part of our culture”.
Alcohol is subject to a 100% ‘sin tax’ on imports – which also means fans who find alcohol will pay more than the odds for it.
American fan Ed Ball created an interactive map showing where to buy beer in Qatar and it has since racked up more than half a million views after the country announced a last-minute ban on beer in stadiums. He posted a video of himself dressed in American attire while drinking beers to promote the card.
Ball created the map for himself – but it has since gone viral and been used by fans around the world seeking
One bar on Ball’s list, the Mulberry Tavern, charges $15 for draft beer, $23 for cocktails and $113 for some bottles of wine.
The Qatari royal family took the eleventh-hour decision to ban alcohol in stadiums despite FIFA’s £63m sponsorship deal with Budweiser.
Alcohol will only be available in stadium hospitality boxes – which cost thousands of dollars per ticket and are reserved for VIPs.
Fans can purchase alcohol in fan zones, but a pint costs $15 and individuals are limited to four drinks each.
Qatar has banned the sale of alcohol in its stadiums despite a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Budweiser
Budweiser has struck a $75m deal to become the only beer sold in stadiums – but the ban means only non-alcoholic Bud will be sold
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has repeatedly defended Qatar’s decision to host the tournament and also backed the alcohol ban.
Under normal circumstances, alcohol is largely restricted in Qatar, except in some hotels, bars and restaurants.
Ecuadorian fans were heard chanting ‘We want beer’ during their country’s opener against the hosts on Sunday.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has dismissed supporters’ claims that the alcohol ban is unfair.
Infantino said: “Honestly, if this is the biggest problem we have for the World Cup, I will sign immediately, go to the beach and relax until December 18.
“Every decision we make at this World Cup is a joint decision between Qatar and FIFA. I personally believe that if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive.
Ecuadorian fans chanted ‘We want beer’ during their World Cup opener against Qatar on Sunday, after a last-minute beer ban in stadiums
Californian delivery driver Brian Davidson told DailyMail.com he was devastated by the alcohol ban.
He said: ‘I’m devastated, it doesn’t make sense. What’s wrong with drinking beer at a game? The beer wasn’t going to be sold inside the stadiums anyway, just in the lobby.
“Millions of people come from all over the world and just want to watch football, enjoy the sun and have a few beers.
“I will only have to go to the Fan Zones or to a hotel for a drink, but it’s really a shame that the Qataris have implemented this ban.”
Photos reportedly showed thousands of Budweiser cans stacked in a warehouse after the ban.
Budweiser had been announced as one of the tournament’s sponsors and had been granted a monopoly on the sale of beer on the ground, but it can now only sell its non-alcoholic version of its beer there.
However, he has now offered the cans of beer to the nation that will emerge victorious from the tournament.
It read: ‘New day, new Tweet. The winning country gets the buds. Who will have them?
It comes after Budweiser mocked the announcement that alcohol would be banned in stadiums on Friday, tweeting “well that’s embarrassing…” before it was removed.
Tankers are said to have made the 8,000 mile trip to Qatar filled with beer from breweries as far away as the UK.
Morgan Freeman was slammed after his opening ceremony appearance ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar opening match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022
Morgan Freeman kicked off the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar on Sunday but was accused of turning a blind eye to the country’s human rights record
David Beckham attended the opener in Doha amid controversy surrounding his £10m promotional deal with tournament organizers
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewing giant that owns Bud and dozens of other beer brands, said it was still looking forward to “celebrating football with our consumers” but some sales cannot take place due to “circumstances beyond our control”.
In Friday’s statement, InBev made no mention of any possible legal action regarding the $75 million deal it has with Fifa, which gives it the exclusive right to sell beer during matches. World Cup matches.
Doha could also face legal action, having signed contracts pledging to “respect Fifa’s sponsors”.
The tournament – the first World Cup to be held in winter – has been beset by a fierce row over Qatar’s human rights record.
Morgan Freeman has come under heavy criticism after hosting the tournament’s opening ceremony.
The tournament, whose opening ceremony yesterday featured a rousing monologue by Freeman, has been plagued by controversy over the Gulf state’s treatment of foreign workers, LGBT+ rights and social restrictions.
Several stars such as Dua Lipa, Shakira and Rod Stewart turned down offers from tournament organizers to perform at the opening ceremony at Al-Bayt Stadium in Doha on this basis.
Yet Freeman agreed despite already having an estimated net worth in the hundreds of millions – and in doing so drew the ire of furious commentators who accused him of hypocrisy.
The internationally acclaimed actor has been a vocal advocate for civil rights in the United States, lending his voice to campaigns supporting same-sex marriage and launching charities to promote equality in early childhood education, between others.