England fans travelling to the 2022 Qatar World Cup will already be forking out massive sums to stay in the Middle East, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they’ll also be paying a fortune to drink in the predominantly dry country.
£12 a pint, to be specific.
That’s right, as if paying north of five or six quid for a beer at most pubs in, say, Manchester wasn’t painful enough, anyone travelling to Qatar 2022 will have to settle for £12 pints according to reports.
As detailed in lengthy investigations carried out by the likes of the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), whose Embassy teams recently travelled to the Gulf nation ahead of the tournament, the drinking culture will not be like that of previous host nations.
As you can see, given that Qatar is fairly stringent when it comes to alcohol, the beer will not be flowing as freely as it would in most other football stadiums around the world — certainly not at £12 a pint anyway.
Not only are there strict rules regarding alcohol on the streets but it also understood that fans will also only be able to drink in authorised hotels and “two specific fan zones and external concourses” at the stadiums.
Moreover, anyone found breaching restrictions will face either being “sent home and/or arrested”; the same goes for the so-called ‘off-license’ facilities, which are strictly for residents only.
While happy hour prices might afford you some leeway (still around £7 a pint, mind), only FIFA-sponsor products like Budweiser will be available and you have strict windows between which you can drink. It will also cost you £75 just to get in the place.
Safe to say that even for regular travelling international fans, with all the travel and accommodation costs people will be incurred on top of food and drink, this is going to be a particularly expensive World Cup.
Meanwhile, certain individuals supplying beer back home may have proclaimed to take a stance against the repressive regime over in Qatar, but they seemingly have no problem still showing the games.
As expected, the lengthy FSA thread also goes on to warn “do not even think about taking drugs” as the use or possession of even residual amounts will result in swift and lengthy sentences.
The report also touched on issues around accommodation with many rooms still under construction just four days out from the tournament and the standard of which are already being called into question. It’s giving us Fyre Festival vibes.
There are bound to be problems surrounding fan conduct and numerous protests regarding Qatar’s abuse of migrant workers, laws surrounding freedom of expression and treatment of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the tournament.
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.