SPURNED World Cup sponsor Budweiser will demand their pound of flesh from Fifa after the late beer in-stadium U-turn.
Owners ABInbev agreed an estimated £95m deal to continue as the official beer suppliers to the 2026 tournament in the USA, Canada and Mexico – up £30m from the Qatar agreement.
There will be thousands of leftover Budweiser following the late U-turn on sales[/caption]
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.
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.
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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Fans were set to be able to drink £12-a-pint 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.
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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 33cl 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.
In the FanZone, it’s £11.62 for a 50cl can – so 22p per cl – in much less luxurious surroundings.