World Cup: FIFA chief confident of full Qatar stadiums
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Qatar is all set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will make it the first to be held in an Arab nation. This will be the 22nd instalment of the Fifa World Cup, and the first since France won in Russia in 2018.
So can you drink in Qatar?
Anyone who wants to visit Qatar for the World Cup needs to keep in mind that it is an Islamic country and their rules and customs must be respected.
Alcohol isn’t illegal in Qatar, but drinking or being drunk in public is.
You can buy alcohol from licensed hotel restaurants and bars, though note the legal drinking age is 21.
There is also a single state-controlled off-licence, but you need a permit to be able to buy alcohol from it.
As is expected, the rules will be somewhat relaxed during the World Cup.
Organisers are reportedly planning on selling alcohol in stadiums at the 2022 World Cup, but it is expected to be pricey.
Qatar experimented with a “wet fan zone” during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup when fans were permitted to consume alcoholic beverages at a site on the outskirts of Doha.
The trial was deemed successful, so more sites like this could emerge too.
However, anyone who wants to get on it a bit during the football is strongly advised not to overindulge, or risk serious repercussions.
Shocking scenes, like those seen in the UK during the Euro 2020, will not be tolerated in Qatar and there may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK.
The UK Foreign Office said: “It is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public.
“British nationals have been detained under this law, usually when they have come to the attention of the police on a related matter, such as disorderly or offensive behaviour.
“Swearing and making rude gestures are considered obscene acts and offenders can be jailed or deported.”
Visitors are advised to “take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials”.
When does the tournament kick-off?
The 2022 World Cup kicks off on Monday, November 21 at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor with a match that will feature the host country.
The tournament is being held in the winter months rather than the usual summer ones, due to the heat.
The final will be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha a week before Christmas on Sunday, December 18.
What is the schedule?
The tournament will feature 32 teams in eight groups of four.
Four matches will be played each day during the group stage, which will run over a 12-day period and see winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16.
Matches will only be assigned to particular venues after the finals draw, so organisers can choose optimal kick-off times to suit television audiences in different countries, as well as supporters out in Qatar.
The finals draw is scheduled to take place in April 2022, after the March window for international fixtures.
Unlike at Euro 2020, there will be a third-place play-off game on December 17.
- Group stage: November 21- December 2
- Round of 16: December 3-6
- Quarter-finals: December 9/10
- Semi-finals: December 13/14
- Final: December 18
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