Do soccer fans and hooligans prefer the sport or the booze? Would they be willing to watch from home rather than be subjected to alcohol restrictions at the World Cup when it is help in Qatar?
Get this - the chairman of the Premier League accused FIFA and UEFA of stealing the game of soccer from the English and derided his Qatari hosts' restrictions on selling alcohol. This outburst occurred right before he tumbled into a fountain at an official dinner. This as reported by mysanantonio.com.
The rants by Dave Richards, who is also a senior Football Association board member, were quickly denounced by the Premier League and English soccer's governing body and forced Richards into an embarrassing apology for "any negativity" toward FIFA and UEFA while insisting his comments were "intended to be lighthearted."
At Doha's Museum of Islamic Art, he slipped and tumbled knee-deep into a museum pool and was so schnockered he had to be helped out.
He blamed his tumble into the fountain on poor lighting.
While he claimed his remarks were light-hearted, there is no doubt they had true intentions and he is full of hooey. He questioned the lack of availability of alcohol in Qatar, which won the bid for the 2022 World Cup after arguing it was time for soccer to move beyond traditional markets.
Alcohol is only sold in some five-star hotels in Qatar, and Richards noted that the English and Germans "like to go for a pint and that pint is a pint of beer."
He said it was the culture of Britain, Germany and others to drink alcohol and if they are to be hosts they need to acquiesce to their visitors. He warned Qatar not to "bury your head in the sand" on the issue because it could turn fans off from attending the World Cup.
He also questioned how fans would cope during the summer heat, which can far exceed 104 degrees in July once they leave the air-conditioned stadiums. This is a legitimate concern. I too question Qatar and its oppressive heat, as a suitable locale.
Either way, perhaps all soccer fans should be forced to take an alcohol class before attending the World Cup. I guess, since it is in Qatar, that will not be as much of an issue. The 5-star hotels will rake in the bucks on booze sales because I bet there is not a huge black market for booze in the country.