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Qatar bans beer from World Cup stadiums

Last-minute U-turn on sales at grounds' fan zones hits sponsor Budweiser on eve of tournament

Budweiser has had a sponsorship deal with FIFA, the organizer of the World Cup soccer tournament, for 30 years.   © Reuters

DOHA/DUBAI (Financial Times) -- Qatar has barred the sale of beer in fan zones at World Cup stadiums in an abrupt U-turn on alcohol policy just 48 hours before the tournament begins.

The Gulf state restricts the sale of alcohol to high-end hotels but agreed to allow the sale of Budweiser -- one of the World Cup's biggest sponsors -- in designated areas outside the eight stadiums hosting games.

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