Spurned World Cup sponsor Budweiser will demand their pound of flesh from FIFA after Qatar’s last-minute beer backflip.
Budweiser owners ABInbev agreed an estimated A$170mdeal to continue as the official beer suppliers to the 2026 tournament in the USA, Canada and Mexico – up A$53m from the Qatar agreement.
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That was on the basis of a 48-team and 80-match tournament across the three countries.
But it is expected Budweiser will now demand a massive reduction in lieu of taking legal action against FIFA for breach of contract, The Sun reports.
And the blow will be eased further when FIFA confirms early in 2023 that the opening phase will now consist of 12 groups of four teams rather than the planned 16 groups of three, meaning a 104-match World Cup.
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Fans were set to be able to drink $21 pint of beer in the venues at Qatar 2022 before tournament chiefs reversed on their promises at the 11th hour.
That leaves Budweiser with thousands of crates of beer that cannot be sold.
So the company vowed to give all the leftovers to the winning country at the World Cup.
It means supporters can only purchase alcohol at the official FanZone.
That will offer the brewery a further 24 matches with exclusive sales rights at the stadium plus the likelihood of extra official Budweiser-catered Fan Festivals across the three host nations.
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Furious, regular fans are being forced to pay almost the same amount as the richest visitors to Doha.
The USA team are among the VIPs staying at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel in the swanky Pearl district.
A bucket of six 335ml cans of the official tournament tipple is on sale in the hotel’s sports bar for £51.20 – so £8.5 per can, or 26p per cl (approx. $16 AUD per can).
In the FanZone, it’s £11.62 for a 50cl can – so 22p per cl – in much less luxurious surroundings (approx. $20 AUD)
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.