Qatar beer ban a show of strength and an almighty two fingers up to its critics | World Cup 2022

The ink was barely dry on Qatar’s decision to ban alcohol from World Cup stadiums when an informed insider in Doha was asked why it was happening now, just 48 hours before the tournament’s big kick-off. His response was succinct. “It’s a deliberate fuck you to the west.”

Of course it was. Yes, the Qataris wanted to ensure that fans of every nation, religion and creed feel comfortable at matches – and that wouldn’t be the case if some were boozed-up or blotto. And yes, Qatar remains a conservative Muslim country, in which alcohol is alien to the culture. But that was true on 2…

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