Two days before the start of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, authorities have decided to ban the sale of alcohol within the eight stadiums hosting matches. Only non-alcoholic options will be available.

Cockburn is appalled at the audacity of such a move — soccer without booze!? How will anyone cope? Beer will apparently be available at the Fan Festival among other areas, but that's little consolation. Not to mention the fact that Budweiser had a sponsorship deal with FIFA for the World Cup. Who knew that the Gulf nation could be so ruthless? (Lots of...

Two days before the start of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, authorities have decided to ban the sale of alcohol within the eight stadiums hosting matches. Only non-alcoholic options will be available.

Cockburn is appalled at the audacity of such a move — soccer without booze!? How will anyone cope? Beer will apparently be available at the Fan Festival among other areas, but that’s little consolation. Not to mention the fact that Budweiser had a sponsorship deal with FIFA for the World Cup. Who knew that the Gulf nation could be so ruthless? (Lots of people.)

Qatar is already struggling to attract fans, with inadequate lodging options and incredibly high fees. Not only is beer unavailable for the game, but fans might be stuck sleeping in a commandeered cruise ship or in a tent on the desert sands! Particularly unlucky visitors might end up in a hotel hours away in another country altogether.

The 2022 World Cup is quickly shaping up to be the Fyre Festival of the sports world. The whole endeavor has been riddled with controversy. Over the past two decades, FIFA has been embroiled in a seemingly unending string of corruption scandals, and Qatar has featured prominently. The country was accused of bribing officials in other soccer federations to select it as the 2022 host.

Qatar was simply not equipped to handle the World Cup. It ended up spending over $200 billion to prepare the infrastructure, making it the most expensive event in World Cup history – by a lot. Even worse, the migrant workers used to construct the stadiums and accommodations were treated poorly, with thousands dying in the process.

It’s also hard to see the long-term benefit to hosting the event for Qatar. The country of under three million people is not likely to have much use for eight stadiums and newly-built hotels once the fans leave. Cockburn can’t help but wonder: why bid in the first place?

(Still — if you want to watch the games somewhere in DC that does serve booze, check out Cockburn’s recommendations here.)