Qatar made workers ‘hustle’ to hide Budweiser’s beer tents after the royal family changed plans at the last minute, it has been claimed.
The Qatari royals were reportedly worried that flaunting the sale of beer would offend the country’s conservative Muslim population.
So they demanded the tents be hidden away from sight, sources have said.
Footage on social media shows staff in high vis vests wheeling a red Budweiser tent to a different location outside a stadium on Sunday.
Three unnamed insiders, World Cup officials and Budweiser were quoted by the New York Times to confirm the story.
The American beer giant reportedly said it was only made aware of the changes on Saturday.
It added that it is ‘working with FIFA to relocate the concession outlets to locations as directed.’
Qatar will have had to agree to facilitate Budweiser’s beer tents, despite the clash with its culture, as the brewer is one of Fifa’s biggest sponsors.
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It is believed to pay around £64 million to the global football association every four years.
Alcohol is not banned in Qatar, but it is generally only available in hotel bars – namely for western tourists.
Officials have agreed to allow the sale of alcohol at stadiums but said visitors should ‘respect’ local customs.
The location of the World Cup has been controversial ever since Qatar was named as the host in 2010.
An investigation by the Guardian claimed more than 6,500 construction workers have died building stadiums and infrastructure for the tournment. Qatar claims it has only had three work-related deaths.
Thousands of low-paid migrant workers from Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka were allegedly among the dead.
Qatar is believed to have built up a migrant workforce of over two million people since its successful bid for the competition, undertaking an unprecedented infrastructure project.
On top of the alcohol concerns, homosexuality is illegal in the country, giving rise to fears over the treatment of LGBTQ+ fans going the Middle East country.
England’s team will be flying on a plane called ‘Rain Bow’ – the symbol of LGBT+ pride.
Harry Kane will be wearing the OneLove armband at the World Cup, along with other national team captains.
The World Cup kicks off this Sunday, when Qatar plays Ecuador.
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