The 2022 FIFA World Cup commenced Sunday, with Ecuador taking on host country Qatar in front of 67,372 at Al Bayt Stadium.
67,372 alcohol-less fans to be specific, as just two days prior to the opening match, FIFA and Qatari officials decided to reverse course and prohibit alcohol sales at all eight stadiums which will host the tournament’s 64 matches. Such a controversial move did not sit well with the Ecuador fans in attendance.
The sea of fans clothed in yellow loudly began chanting “queremos cerveza” throughout the match. Queremos cerveza translates to “we want beer.”
The move to disallow alcohol in the stadiums came despite the World Cup having a $75 million sponsorship agreement with Anheuser-Busch to sell its drinks at the tournament.
“Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeter,” FIFA said in a statement, via CNN.
Bud Zero, however, remains available at the World Cup. Bud Zero is a non-alcoholic beer containing zero grams of sugar and 50 calories.
Ecuador Fans Celebrate Victory at World Cup
The Ecuadorian faithful still had plenty to cheer about, as La Tri defeated Qatar, 2-0. Veteran striker Enner Valencia provided all the offense Ecuador would need, netting both goals. Valencia scored a penalty in the 16th minute before adding another in the 31st on a well-taken header.
The 33-year-old is now Ecuador’s all-time leading goalscorer in the World Cup with five goals.
“I dreamt so many times about winning this opening match. This was a dream that I managed to score and help my team get the three points,” Valencia said. “We managed to score a couple of quick goals which helped us to get control of the game and win the three points … We think we can go very far and perform well.”