For a World Cup where a tall, cool Budweiser is harder to find than it is at a dry wedding (there’s usually an uncle that has a few brews tucked away somewhere), suds has been a big point of conversation.
Now, official beer supplier Budweiser wants a break if they’re going to sponsor the next World Cup. A big break.
FIFA announced that beer wouldn’t be allowed in World Cup stadiums. That last-minute switcheroo is believed to have been the byproduct of pressure from Qatar’s ruling family. This meant that beer sales were limited to Fan Zones, with pints carrying a $14 price tag.
Wherever it came from, the about-face did not sit well with one of the event’s biggest sponsors.
Budweiser Paid Big Bucks To Get In On The World Cup
According to the Daily Mail, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns Budweiser and a bunch of other brands, paid $75 million to be the beer supplier for the World Cup. They also ponied up $112 million to have a monopoly on sales through the 2026 World Cup in North America.
At least that’s what they paid before this whole Qatar beer debacle. The company is now seeking a $47.4 million discount for 2026, per The Sun.
The company will have the opportunity to peddle some suds at more games in 2026 thanks to the World Cup Field increasing from 32 to 48 teams. This means that the company has been exclusivity at 80 games instead of 64.
We’ll have to wait and see if FIFA gives Budweiser what they’re asking for, but it’s hard to make a case against them deserving the break. They forked over a ton of money with the expectation that they’d be able to sell their product.
FIFA didn’t have the backbone to stand up to the Qatari Royal family when they decided to change their mind. Those aren’t the terms the Budweiser folks agreed to.
But you know who this hurts the most? The beer-loving soccer hooligans.
Won’t someone please think of the beer-loving soccer hooligans?!
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle