Ecuador fans chant “We want beer!” during World Cup match against Qatar after host bans alcohol sales

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Ecuador’s fans chanted “We want beer!” during their FIFA World Cup’s opening match against host Qatar on Sunday. 

Sports journalist Javier Lanza caught the moment at Al Bayt Stadium, where Ecuadorean fans in one of the sections began to chant in Spanish. The rallying cry was in response to Qatar’s abrupt decision to ban beer sales at all venues used for the World Cup tournament. 

Still, fans had plenty to celebrate as Ecuador defeated Qatar 2-0 after two goals from striker Enner Valencia. 

On Friday, two days before the game, FIFA announced the last-minute change that would ban alcoholic drinks from the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues. Non-alcoholic beer would still be available for fans at the 64 matches.

Budweiser’s parent company, AB InBev, pays tens of millions of dollars at each World Cup for exclusive rights to sell beer. The company’s partnership with FIFA started at the 1986 tournament.

In addition to its reversal on its alcohol policy, Qatar has faced a litany of criticism since being named host of the World Cup, mainly for not addressing its alleged abuse of migrant workers and LGBTQ community. FIFA President Gianni Infantino defended Qatar’s human rights record on Saturday, saying Europeans should be “apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.” 

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