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Qatar ‘impose’ last-minute alcohol ban on Wales fans

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independent.co.uk

A World Cup party has been cancelled after Qatar authorities “imposed” changes to restrict alcohol sales, organisers said.Fan charity Gol Cymru was looking to build on the success of its parties held either side of Wales’ opening World Cup game against the USA with a second round of events for Friday’s fixture with Iran.But they said they were told at the last minute of new conditions preventing alcohol sales before 12pm, leading to them cancelling their pre-match event at the InterContinental Doha hotel, in the West Bay area of the city.The Wales Football Supporters’ Association’s fan embassy later noted Friday is a holy day and “no alcohol before midday” is allowed.Wales’ crunch group B fixture against Iran kicks off at 1pm Qatari time, 10am in the UK, at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.The sale of alcohol to fans at World Cup stadiums in Qatar was banned two days before the tournament kicked off – with an exception made for corporate spectators.The UK Foreign Office said it is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public, with alcohol available at designated places including hotels.Gol Cymru fundraiser and organiser Leigh James told fans in an email: “The hotel have been in discussions with the Qatari authorities overnight and unfortunately, as it is with Qatar, a change has been imposed and we can now no longer serve alcohol before midday Friday.“Therefore we have had to take the decision to cancel the pre-match event and offer you two options.”These include attending a post-match party on Friday, or a pre-match party on November 29 before the final group B game with England.Wales fans enjoyed parties either side of their opening World Cup draw with the United States Mr James added: “Once again on behalf of the hotel

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