The opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup will take place on November 20, ahead of the opening Group A match between host Qatar and Ecuador. Qatari officials have decided to ban alcoholic drinks during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Qatar has also banned women from wearing revealing clothes. There will be no concerts, model ramp walks, music, or dance, just a traditional way of kicking off. Children were spotted wearing traditional clothes and reciting lines from the Holy Quran, representing Islamic culture and traditions.
The Qatar government has issued strict guidelines on alcohol, drugs, sexuality, and dress code and installed 15,000 cameras with high-powered facial recognition technology to monitor the spectators in the stadium.
Since then, Qatar has been facing criticism from the west for prioritizing Islam over everything.
“Qatar was a mistake,” former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in an interview, adding that the Middle Eastern country is “too small” for the event and noting that the selection did not take “social considerations and human rights” into account.
A decade ago, Qatar was surprisingly awarded the hosting rights to the World Cup. Since then, local organizers and global soccer leaders insisted that beer would be available to fans. Qatar took an 11th-hour u-turn and banned the sale of beer. The ban is the latest and most dramatic point of contention between FIFA and Qatar.
This step leaves organizers scrambling to adjust; and complicates FIFA’s $75 million sponsorship agreement with Budweiser – an American brewing company.
This last-minute decision to ban beer sales was taken after long-term discussions, keeping in mind the sentiments of everyone involved in the crowd, as this world cup is quite different from others in the sense that a large number of fans would be coming from the Middle East and South Asia, where alcohol is not part of their culture. So, the presence of alcohol would be disturbing for these fans. Therefore, only non-alcoholic drinks will be on sale to fans at games.
Qatar’s government tourism website notes: “Attitudes towards dressing in Qatar are relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) are expected to show respect for the local culture by avoiding excessively revealing clothes in public. It is generally recommended for men and women to ensure their shoulders and knees are covered.”
Qatar’s legal code doesn’t specify a dress code for foreigners. However, visitors and fans will be expected to wear clothes that display “modesty”, according to the country and Islamic culture, so that it doesn’t hurt the sentiments of Muslim fans.
The government has also forbidden the use of offensive slogans during the match. Fans are asked to be careful of the local customs and traditions.
While non-Qatari women are not expected to wear the traditional long black robe called “abaya”, they will have to avoid clothes that may reveal their shoulders, midriff, or knees. The FIFA website also advises fans to dress according to their will but respect the laws of the land.
Qatar invited hundreds of Hafiz-E-Quran to the opening of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Stadium. Students were spotted in the stadium wearing traditional clothes and reciting the verses from the Holy Quran in a lovely manner, rather than any celebrations at the grand opening, following the norms of Muslims.