Budweiser wants a refund.
The company will reportedly seek an approximate $47.4 million deduction for the 2026 World Cup portion of its deal with FIFA, after soccer’s governing body reversed course on beer sales in Qatar.
- After initially agreeing to allow alcoholic beer sales in World Cup stadiums, FIFA officials gave way to pressure from Qatari officials two days before the tournament started.
- Budweiser can sell its nonalcoholic Bud Zero at World Cup games and its regular beer at designated fan areas.
- Budweiser is paying FIFA around $75 million to be the official beer supplier for this World Cup and has a deal for roughly $112 million for the 2026 World Cup in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
Qatar and FIFA have sought to keep certain forms of self-expression to a minimum. Belgium was reportedly disallowed from wearing a pre-match shirt because it was too colorful.
FIFA successfully dissuaded teams from wearing anti-discrimination “OneLove” armbands by threatening to give out yellow cards.
Winner Takes All Beer
In the wake of FIFA’s about-face, Budweiser has said it will give its unsold beer to the country that wins the World Cup.
The company initially tweeted, “Well, this is awkward …” in response to FIFA’s decision, but quickly removed the post.
Due to Qatar’s lack of breweries and intense heat, the company had to ship its beer via ocean freighter and store it in refrigerated warehouses.