STORY: Ahead of the World Cup’s start in Qatar, soccer fans let loose with the usual singing, dancing...
And some “cheers” for good measure.
But this FIFA Fan Festival in Doha has become a rare spot where fans can indulge in alcohol during the month-long event.
On Friday, in a last-minute U-turn, international soccer governing body FIFA said beer would not be sold at World Cup stadiums.
The move isn’t going over well with fans, who braved long lines to get their fill where they could on Saturday.
"Of course, beer is of course what we need. Of course, it is like a necessity, and this is why we are waiting for this queue.”
"Not having alcohol is not good because the World Cup is a party of the world.”
This is the first World Cup held in a conservative Muslim country with strict controls on alcohol.
Public consumption of it is banned.
Before Friday’s ban, major World Cup sponsor Budweiser had been set to exclusively sell beer within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the eight stadiums three hours before and one hour after each game.
Alcoholic beverages will still be available in stadium hospitality areas.
Qatar has also faced criticism from some countries playing in the 32-nation tournament over its rights record on migrant workers, women and the LGBTQ community.
But FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he has no time for beer complaints at a press conference on Saturday.
“I mean, honestly, if this is the biggest issue we have for the World Cup I will resign immediately and go to the beach and relax until the 18th of December.”
The opening ceremony of the World Cup will take place on Sunday, before the opening Group A match between host Qatar and Ecuador.