FIFA head says fans ‘will survive’ without beer at World Cup
The head of world soccer’s governing body says fans will survive if beer is not served at the tournament.
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino said fans should expect no alcohol at football’s World Cup in Russia next year.
“Obviously we want to avoid anything that could cause problems,” Infantino said in an interview with local newspaper La Stampa on Friday.
“All the stadiums are in control of this, and we haven’t requested that alcohol be served.”
Russia’s alcohol commission said on Thursday that serving alcohol at the tournament would violate its rules and there would be no problem.
However, the local government has already ordered the government to make plans to make beer available, according to local newspaper TASS.
Infantino said when he meets the presidents of Russian soccer associations he will ask them to “ask the Russian government” to serve beer in the stadiums.
He said he doesn’t want to “over-react” to the threat of fans leaving the stadiums in a drunken stupor, but he admits his suggestion is “politically incorrect.”
He said Russia has already banned alcohol from football matches for some years, and added that UEFA, the European football governing body, had also taken steps to address the issue.
“In the next tournament, we won’t have alcohol at the stadiums,” Infantino said.
He said he will wait to see how things will play out before making a final decision.
“We have to be patient and wait for the situation to emerge,” he said.
But he added that Russia’s government has not yet given him any reason to block any stadium from serving alcohol.
“We have to see what is the situation. We don’t know what kind of plan the government has to serve alcohol or not,” he said.
Infantino said there will be a “big discussion” about the matter when FIFA starts its meeting in the south