Football fans will reportedly be allowed to drink alcohol if Saudi Arabia is successful in its unpopular bid to host the 2034 World Cup. The Muslim-majority country outlaws the sale and consumption of alcohol but could allow alcohol to be sold in hotels and restricted ‘fan zones’ if it is awarded the tournament. ‘It has not been publicly discussed but it is an accepted fact,’ a source told The Sun. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced its intention to bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup earlier this week. Critics have warned FIFA that to allow the oil-rich state to host the tournament would be ‘sports washing’, covering up for its ‘atrocious human rights record’. The source told The Sun: ‘We acknowledge very serious mistakes have been made in the past and want the world to understand that we are changing.’ The sale and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia. Foreigners caught drinking can face public flogging, fines, imprisonment and deportation. But the country appears to have relaxed its stance with the prospect of hosting the 2034 World Cup, announcing it would bid on Wednesday. President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), Yasser Al Misehal, said in a statement released on the SAFF website: ‘We believe the time is right for Saudi Arabia to host the FIFA World Cup. ‘Our bid is driven by a love for the game and a desire to see it grow in every corner of the world. We want to celebrate our football culture and share our country with the world.’ The post Saudi Arabia ‘says football fans will be allowed to drink beer if they win the right to host 2034 World Cup’ appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.