BrewDog declares itself ‘anti-sponsor’ of World Cup in protest of Qatar – but will still screen the games

People described BrewDog as 'superficial and meaningless'

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 9th November 2022

BrewDog has addressed the huge backlash it received this week, which stemmed from the brewery declaring itself an ‘anti-sponsor’ of the World Cup in Qatar while still screening the games in its bars.

The Scottish beer brand has been accused of hypocrisy and of profiting from the tournament, despite taking a very public stance against Qatar.

Its ‘World F*Cup’ campaign will see profits from all Lost Lager sold during the World Cup given to fight human rights abuse.

BrewDog said: “Football’s been dragged through the mud, before a single ball’s been kicked. Let’s be honest: Qatar won it through bribery. On an industrial scale.

“Football is meant to be for everyone. But in Qatar, homosexuality is illegal, flogging is an accepted form of punishment, and it’s OK for 6,500 workers to die building your stadium.


“That’s why we’re kicking off. And we’re putting our money where our mouth is, with all the profits from our Lost Lager sold during the tournament going to fight human rights abuse.

BrewDog’s anti-World Cup posters. Credit: Saatchi & Saatchi / BrewDog

“We’re proud to be launching BrewDog as an anti-sponsor of the World F*Cup. To be clear we love football, we just don’t love corruption, abuse and death.


“So join us. Let’s raise a glass to the players. To the fans. To free speech. And two fingers to anyone who thinks a World Cup in Qatar makes sense.”

The campaign has been described as ‘superficial and meaningless’ after the brewery confirmed its bars across the country would still be showing the games.

They replied to one critic on Twitter to say: “We are, because don’t want to stop people watching the football. Corruption shouldn’t stop this. Besides, the more football we show, the more Lost is sold, the more money goes to charity.”


BrewDog co-founder James Watt has now addressed the criticism in a post on LinkedIn, saying that the company thought ‘long and hard’ about its decision to screen the World Cup matches.

He said that BrewDog didn’t want to ‘deny our loyal customers the chance to enjoy them together just because FIFA bizarrely chose to award the world cup to Qatar in very questionable circumstances’.

He also wrote: “All profits from Lost Lager sold during the tournament will be donated to human rights charities. The truth is, we will raise more money to do good if we show the matches in our bars.”

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James’ post said: “People are still going to watch the games – so giving them the opportunity to watch the games both to raise awareness and raise money to drive positive change at the same time is worthwhile.

“To be very clear, in doing so we aren’t supporting FIFA or Qatar’s human rights track record, we are supporting those that love the game and hate to see it dragged through the mud like this.”


He continued: “We will never please all the people all the time. We are now very used to our critics piling in. But in the space of 24 hours we’ve massively raised awareness of this incredibly important issue and we will follow this up, we hope, with a sizeable donation to charity to further support the cause.

“At BrewDog we have always taken a stand for the things that we believe it and that is something we will always continue to do.”

Featured image: Saatchi & Saatchi / BrewDog