Ontario allowing bars to serve as early as 7 a.m. during World Cup 2022

Soccer fans may not be able to sip beers at the stadiums in Qatar, but bars in Ontario will now be able to serve patrons as early as 7 a.m. during the World Cup.

The provincial agency in charge of booze in Ontario has announced that it is shifting the hours of drinking in Ontario during the upcoming World Cup.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says that it will allow bars to begin serving as early as 7 a.m. while closing time will remain at 2 a.m.

Read more: FIFA World Cup: Canadian interest in Qatar tournament low, poll suggests

The 2020 World Cup will begin on Sunday in Qatar and will run right through until Dec. 18.

With the games being played in Qatar, they will begin as early as 7 a.m. in Ontario, with some games also starting at 8 a.m.

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While Ontario loosened restrictions on Friday, the government of Qatar banned the sale of beer at the 8 stadiums where games will be played.

Canada will play three round-robin games, with their opening match being on Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. ET vs. Belgium. They are all scheduled to play on Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. vs. Croatia before they complete the round-robin with a contest against Morocco at 10 a.m.

“While temporary extensions are not normally provided for events taking place outside of the province or applicable to outdoor licensed areas, the Registrar recognizes that the FIFA World Cup 2022 is an event of international significance for many communities in Ontario and is one of the most watched sporting events in the world,” a release from the AGCO read.

Read more: FIFA World Cup: Qatar stadiums banned from selling alcoholic beer

“In Ontario specifically, the tournament attracts a large and enthusiastic following within the province’s broad multicultural communities.“

The agency noted that if municipalities object to the time change, they are permitted to opt out.

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