This special feature exposes FIFA’s long history of doing dirty work for Big Alcohol, specifically AB InBev, whose brand Budweiser is a long-term sponsor of FIFA.

FIFA is doing the dirty work for Big Alcohol as usual in the 2022 Qatar World Cup by pushing through alcohol sales. Initially Qatar was not going to allow any alcohol sales during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to Qatar’s laws which prohibit public alcohol use. However, FIFA has lobbied for the interest of AB InBev whose brand Budweiser has been a long-term sponsor of FIFA.

Albeit claiming to want to promote healthy lifestyles through their partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), FIFA is going to be doing exactly the opposite by pushing the Qatar government to introduce 17-hour alcohol consumption at the 2022 World Cup to benefit the beer industry.

The AB InBev-owned Budweiser has been the official beer sponsor of the men’s FIFA World Cup for over 35 years now.

FIFA operates with three sponsorship tiers: FIFA Partners, FIFA World Cup Sponsors and National Supporters. Companies at the World Cup Sponsor level which is the level of AB InBev owned Budweiser, receive rights to the event on a global basis, including category exclusivity, select marketing assets and secondary media exposure.

Already when the MoU with the WHO was signed Movendi International President, Kristina Sperkova raised doubts about apparent conflicts of interest between health promotion on the one hand and the Budweiser sponsorship deal.

Three years later, the answer is clear: FIFA abuses WHO to acquire a health halo while it is chosing to promote alcohol use and the private profits interests of the world biggest beer company. 

This is not the first time FIFA has bullied a country into allowing alcohol sales during games against the host country’s wishes. FIFA did the same in the 2014 World Cup games in Brazil.

Movendi International has previously reported on FIFA’s hypocrisy in claiming to promote healthy lifestyles while continuing the Budweiser sponsorship which exposes thousands of fans including young people and children to alcohol advertisements and also increases violence against women.

Source Website: Alcohol Issues Newsletter - No.34