A fan drinks beer outside one of the stadiums in Russia during the 2018 World Cup.
In a last-minute twist, Qatari authorities and FIFA announced on Friday that the sale of alcohol will be closed. It was banned outside the World Cup stadiums, where the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo is awaited in the midst of a crisis with Manchester United.
The ban overshadows the commitment of the authorities to the small and conservative The emirate will relax the application of its laws during the big soccer event, to which more than a million fans from all over the world are expected to travel.
The consumption of alcohol is It was heavily regulated in the Islamic nation, but organizers had agreed to set beer sales hours before and after games outside the eight stadiums.
The owner of the American brewing giant Budweiser, one of the main sponsors of the World Cup for three decades, declared the You know these alcohol restrictions are out of your control.
For the FSA, the England supporters' association, “this last-minute turnaround illustrates a broader problem: the complete lack of communication and transparency of the football committee.” organizer regarding the fans.”
“If they can change their minds at any moment, fans will have understandable concerns about their ability to meet other issues, such as accommodation, transportation and cultural issues,” the club warned. the FSA, which will have to The US hosted thousands of fans in Doha on Monday for their debut against Iran.
Since its surprising selection as the tournament host in 2010, to the detriment of favorites the United States, Qatar has been the subject of numerous Criticism ranging from accusations of corruption for the nomination to the treatment received by migrant workers, respect for the rights of women and the LGBTIQ+ collective or the environmental impact of the tournament.
According to the British newspaper The Times, which advanced in recent years. Under Friday's decision, the backtracking on alcohol sales is the result of “considerable pressure” from the US government. It was exercised by the Qatari leaders, including the ruling family.
Portugal isolates itself
On the football front, Qatar is still waiting for the arrival Some selections will be only two days before the ball rolls.
Portugal will land in the late afternoon in the Qatari capital. It was with its star, Cristiano Ronaldo, in the eye of the hurricane due to its confrontation with Manchester United.
This same Friday the English club announced its decision. that it has taken "the pertinent measures" in response to some statements by the veteran striker against his coach, Erik Ten Hag, for whom he said he “has no respect”.
Published over several days, the statements confirm that Ronaldo, who has played few minutes this season, and the "Red Devils" they are on the verge of divorce.
To reduce pressure, the Portuguese will be based away from the other teams, east of Doha.
In the capital of qatari Messi's Argentina and Mbappe's France are already there, as well like other candidates such as Germany and England.
The English are preparing to make their debut on Tuesday against Iran, a team that will be followed in the future. It is being closely monitored in case it expresses support for the protesters in its country or condemns the repression of the protests.
Its captain, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, affirmed that it was not. He said on Thursday that the choice between celebrating or not celebrating a goal in the 2022 World Cup in support of the protesters in Iran is a “personal decision”. of the players.
Escort of F-16
In another sign that this World Cup will be lived for a long time. In a very particular context, the Polish team started off in a very special way. It was escorted by two F-16 fighter jets through its airspace.
Poland is still reeling from a missile explosion in Przewodow, a small town a 6 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, which caused the Two people were killed earlier this week.
The projectile, which has raised fears of an escalation in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was reportedly fired by air defense forces. The Ukrainian team was sent to intercept Russian attacks.
This escort “is a good thing, it shows the support we give to our players,” declared the Ukrainian team. Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said.
Only a handful of teams remain to reach Qatar, among them Neymar's Brazil, which will be the first team. I will be the last country to disembark on Saturday afternoon, the eve of the opening game.