Bud Zero Emerges As Major Winner Following World Cup Alcohol Ban

Bud Zero Emerges As Major Winner Following World Cup Alcohol Ban originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Less than 48 hours before the start of this year’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar, FIFA shockingly announced that the eight stadiums that are hosting the World Cup will be alcohol-free.

This major decision leaves soccer fans with one “beer” option that isn’t as boozy as some may have hoped: Bud Zero.

FIFA declared that Bud Zero, the nonalcoholic option, would be the only beer-like drink that will be made available at all World Cup stadiums in Qatar.

According to its website, “Budweiser Zero is an alcohol-free brew (from Anheuser-Busch) with only 50 calories and zero grams of sugar and is made for those who want to cut back on alcohol without missing out on the full flavor and refreshment of Budweiser.”

Bud Zero, which launched in 2020, has a concise, four-ingredient alchemy: Barley, hops, rice and water.

Although Bud Zero is an alcohol-free brew, it is strictly only for the consumption of adults that are 21 years of age or older.

While Alcohol isn’t outrightly banned in Qatar, Qatar is a Muslim country — the first in the Arab world to host the event — that is very conservative. It tightly regulates the sale and consumption of alcohol on country grounds. There’s only one alcohol retailer in the entire country, the Qatar Distribution Company. Making overpriced beer, wine and liquor available at certain establishments and high-end hotels.

This decision is completely an about-face move than what Qatar originally had in place. In September, officials said while ticketed fans would be able to buy alcoholic beer during the match, they would be allowed to purchase alcohol just three hours before kickoff and only one hour after the final whistle.

Ab InBev, the parent company of Budweiser, reportedly bought the rights to supply the World Cup for $75 million dollars exclusively. It acknowledged in a statement that some of its plans “cannot move forward due to circumstances beyond our control.”

On social media, Budweiser gave a swift, and now-deleted tweet, in response to the news.

Fans were obviously shocked by the announcement and took to social media to voice their disappointment.

The World Cup kicks off with Group A on Nov. 20 when Qatar faces off against Ecuador.