BrewDog has insisted it does not endorse human rights abuses after it was found they were still selling beer in Qatar – despite launching a campaign against the World Cup hosts.
The Gulf state has faced criticism for its stance on homosexuality, which is illegal in the country, while a report in the Guardian found that more than 6,500 workers have died building stadiums since the country was awarded the tournament in 2010.
Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker said last week that he intended to highlight the issues during the tournament while BrewDog announced this week that they were donating profits from the sale of its Lost Lager for the duration of tournament to charity.
The move was part of the Scottish craft brewer’s ‘anti-sponsor’ campaign against the World Cup, that starts on 20 November.
Explaining their campaign, the brewer said: “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.”
However, pictures posted on social media show BrewDog beers still on sale in Qatar, while the Just Drinks website found that the company was continuing to profit from the sale of beer in the country via a third-party distributor.
In a statement sent to Yahoo News UK, BrewDog admitted their beer was still on sale in Qatar but insisted it did not mean they supported “injustices”.
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It read: “We don’t sell direct to Qatar, but we do have a relationship with a distributor that sells into multiple Middle Eastern markets, primarily into Dubai, but including Qatar.
“Apple sells iPhones in Qatar – that doesn’t mean it endorses human rights abuses. Neither do we.
“We are doing our bit to raise awareness of these scandals and injustices and will keep doing so.”
BrewDog bars will continue to show World Cup matches throughout the tournament as the company believes they will make “a lot more money” from Lost Lager sales that can be donated to charity.
Foreign secretary James Cleverly caused controversy last month by saying that gay people should “respect Islamic cultural norms” if they visit the country for the World Cup.
Presenter Gary Lineker said he was “ready to p**s off” Qatar by speaking about the issues while there to report on the tournament.
Meanwhile, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter this week admitted it was “a mistake” to award the World Cup to Qatar.
The 86-year-old claimed that he voted for the United States to host the 2022 finals, but was outvoted.
But when asked why he was opposed to Qatar hosting the finals, Blatter told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger: “It’s too small a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for that.”