Aerial Views Of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Venues
Qatar Bans Alcohol At World Cup Stadiums In Last Minute U-Turn: Fans React Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Budweiser is seeking a refund from FIFA amounting to $47.4 million for the last-minute reversal of an agreement to sell beer inside the football stadium in Qatar. The company reportedly is asking for a big chunk of deductions as a discount to be applied to their 2026 World Cup deal.

The beer giant had no choice but to give way to Qatari officials after the tournament’s policy called for a last-minute regulation prohibiting the sales of alcoholic beverages within the stadium. However, Budweiser was allowed to sell its non-alcoholic version, Bud Zero. Regular beer and other alcoholic drinks and cocktails are permitted only in designated areas such as its Fan Festival area as well as in hotels and licensed bars but are said to be sold at steep prices.

FIFA’S decision ultimately left Budweiser in a bind after it failed to address the issue of the surplus alcohol it had laid out to be sold during the World Cup. The AB InBev-owned Budweiser is reportedly coughed up $75 million to sponsor the event in Qatar with the sponsorship price tag set to rack up to $112 million at the 2026 tournament to be held in the US, Canada and Mexico, The Drink Business said.

In an earlier press conference, FIFA President Gianni Infantino downplayed the organization’s move amid the shock of football fans who were all set to party in the Persian Gulf. The decision by FIFA was apparently motivated by pressure coming from the royal family of Qatar. Infantino remarked that football fans will live without beer.

"If this is the biggest problem we have, I’ll sign that [agreement]," Infantino said.

In the wake of FIFA’s decision, Budweiser tried to find creative ways to make use of its marketing genius by announcing on social media that it would give all its unsold beer to the country that wins the World Cup.

"New Day, New Tweet. Winning Country gets the Buds. Who will get them?" Budweiser tweeted over a week ago.

As for the thousands of beer cans that made the voyage to the Persian Gulf, these have been left piled inside a refrigerated warehouse due to Qatar’s lack of breweries to store them.

Qatar Beer Ban Memes Rep. Pic
After the sudden and controversial decision by Qatar to ban the selling of alcoholic beverages in their stadiums on Sunday, many fans have shared memes of them sneaking in alcohol to drink during the events. This is a representational image. BENCE BOROS/Unsplash.

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