DOHA, Qatar (AP) — With beer sales banned at World Cup stadiums in Qatar, England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is hoping his team can lift the spirits of soccer fans in other ways.
Like by winning matches.
“Hopefully with them not being able to drink, we can perform on the pitch to give them that sort of excitement and buzz,” Ramsdale said Friday at England’s training base. “I think the fans will find some way of having a beer. I don’t think you need to do it so much at the game. We also have to respect the rules and continue to work, so we’ll put pressure on ourselves to entertain from the football pitch.”
The sale of beer in and around the eight stadiums was banned by the Qataris only two days before the opening match.
England fans and supporters of the other 31 teams will still be able to drink beer in the official fan zone, a designated party area in Doha that also offers live music and activities.
Ramsdale said he watched some of England’s run to the semifinals at the last World Cup in a bar while on vacation in Cyprus.
“I was in Aiya Napa watching the first game at (Gary) Lineker’s bar with my friends,” the Arsenal goalkeeper said. “That was crazy because obviously Harry (Kane) scored the last-minute header (against Tunisia). That was an eventful night.
“I watched one at a fan zone in Weymouth and then the Colombia game I watched the day before pre-season, so I was with my group of friends who me and Ben White know round their house and as you can imagine there was a lot of cheering in the front room and I still get goosebumps now thinking about it and I wasn’t even there but it was a special night.”
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James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson