World Cup fans from around the globe were caught by surprise last week when they arrived in Qatar, only to find that due to a last minute edict, the sale of beer and alcohol had been banned at all stadiums.
As historians who have studied Prohibition can attest, that’s a move that always works out well with absolutely no unintended consequences.
While the move may seem draconian to fans who have been to any other major sporting event on the planet, officials have urged visitors to be respectful of the host nation and consider making a few compromises.
For example, soccer fans can rest assured they will not be arrested by Qatari authorities for appearing with a cup of beer, provided they refrain from engaging in public displays of refreshment such as holding hands with it or touching it to their lips.
Even though Budweiser is an official FIFA sponsor, they too will have to make certain compromises while the matches are played in Qatar. So far, the biggest one was remaining silent while World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman provided them with a new slogan: “Drinking Bud Lite is damage in the mind.”
Salman further noted that he did not want Qatari children to learn “something that is not good,” such as any song by Dave Matthews Band.
To emphasize how seriously they were taking the ban, Qatar’s World Cup security promised to confiscate all banners that promoted alcoholic beverages in any form.
In other news: this will be the first World Cup in history with no signage whatsoever.
Head of security Abdulaziz Adbullah Al Ansari insisted that “If someone raised a Pabst Blue Ribbon flag and I took it, I’m doing it because I want to protect him. You want to demonstrate your view about hipster beers, demonstrate it in a society where it will be accepted.”
In Qatar, it is illegal to grow a handlebar mustache or tell your friends you were really into a band “before they sold out and went commercial.”
Above all else, Qatari officials have repeatedly emphasized that for visitors, it’s OK to be a drinker as long as you don’t actually drink.
While some have argued that such a statement is self-contradictory poppycock, FIFA President Gianni Infantino countered that it’s only self-contradictory if you pay attention to what’s actually being said.
As Infantino told the international sports media, “Today I feel like Budweiser. Today I feel like White Claw. Today I feel like Truly. Today I feel like Jack Daniel’s. Today I feel like Johnnie Walker. Today I feel like Coors. Today I feel like Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
“I feel like it because as a child, I had red hair and freckles.”
Qatari officials quickly added that if World Cup fans feel like drinking to excess, just listen to what FIFA’s President says when he’s sober and that will have the same effect.
While most of the world has condemned Qatar’s World Cup alcohol ban as repressive and reactionary, the nation’s leaders have responded by standing in front of a giant pile of money marked “For FIFA” and explaining, “No one told us to change it.”
Thus, despite being played in a nation where LGBTQ people can be arrested just for existing, the 2022 World Cup still promises to be the thirstiest one of all time.