Brazilian senate approves key World Cup bill
The Brazilian senate on Wednesday approved a controversial bill
giving FIFA the guarantees needed to organize the 2014 World
The approval came just a day after the Brazilian government met
with FIFA officials in Switzerland to discuss the country’s
preparations and resolve their differences.
The bill will now go before Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff,
who is expected to sign it in the coming days.
Congress’ lower house passed the bill in March after several
delays, especially over the sale of alcohol inside stadiums –
currently against the law in Brazil but a FIFA demand because
Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor.
The approved legislation doesn’t specifically authorize alcohol
sales, but the government says other articles in the proposed law
will allow Brazil to fulfill FIFA’s requirement.
”Like the majority of the population, I was against allowing
(the sale of alcohol inside stadiums),” Sen. Ana Amelia said. ”We
are just ratifying what was done by the executive branch.”
FIFA President Sepp Blatter closed Tuesday’s meeting at FIFA’s
headquarters asking the Brazilian senate to expedite voting on the
bill, which establishes the financial and legal guarantees for the
World Cup and next year’s Confederations Cup.
”We shall look forward and not backwards,” Blatter said. ”I
invite not only the executive in Brazil, but also the legislative,
the senate, to look forward in solidarity and the benefit of this
Without the text specifically authorizing the sale of alcohol,
FIFA theoretically will have to negotiate with a few states which
currently have legislation banning alcohol sales inside stadiums,
but the government has said such deals likely will not be difficult
to achieve. All states also signed commitments to FIFA.
”We are not against the World Cup, but we shouldn’t bow to
FIFA’s demands,” said Sen. Cyro Miranda. ”We can’t say something
to the Brazilian people and then change our minds when FIFA comes
Sen. Anibal Diniz disagreed: ”Brazil made commitments to FIFA
in order to host the competition and we said we would fulfill all
of them. We must do what we promised,” he said.
In a meeting with Blatter in the nation’s capital in March, the
Brazilian government promised to have the bill passed so it could
fulfill the commitments made to football’s governing body when it
accepted to host the tournament in 2007.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke had said he wanted the
proposed law sanctioned by the end of March so World Cup
preparations could be expedited.
The delay in approving the bill was part of the reason Valcke
harshly criticized Brazil, angering many in the South American
nation and prompting Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo to want to cut
ties with the FIFA official. Valcke and Blatter had to
Critics say the bill gives too much power to FIFA. The
legislation also sets rules on discounted tickets, trademark
infringements, commercial and broadcast rights and liability for
security problems, among other issues.
The alcohol sales inside stadiums will only be allowed during
the World Cup and the Confederations Cup.
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