Beer will not be served to fans around stadia at the World Cup Finals.
Qatar’s ultra-conservative rulers have changed their minds on allowing supporters to buy alcohol outside the grounds.
The ban comes two days before Qatar plays Ecuador in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup Finals.
FIFA has come under increased pressure from Qatar – a “dry” nation – to stops the sales.
Budweiser – owned by AB InBev – spends more than £63 million to partner with the World Cup every four years.
The brewer responded to the news by tweeting:
“Well, this is awkward.”
The message was quickly removed.
A statement from Fifa – the sport’s world governing body – said:
“Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters.
“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.
“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.
“The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continuous support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
The Football Supporters’ Association in the UK said:
“Some fans like a beer at a game and some don’t, but the real issue is the last minute U-turn which speaks to a wider problem: the total lack of communication and clarity from the organising committee towards supporters.
“If they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about whether they will fulfil other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues.”