Beer will flow at Brazil World Cup
Brasilia – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has signed into law a measure approving beer sales during 2014 World Cup matches, bowing to pressure from football’s world governing body, Fifa.
The bill was passed last month by the senate after international football authorities balked over an alcohol prohibition at Brazil’s sports arenas that has been in force since 2003.
Legislators in May passed a package of measures demanded by Fifa that include selling beer in plastic cups, despite concern from some legislators that allowing alcohol consumption could lead to rowdiness at the events.
The announcement that the measure is now law was published in Brazil’s official journal.
Its passage ends a long and strident battle between world football authorities and the Brazil government, which is eager to prevent hooliganism and violence as it hosts the sport’s most celebrated event.
Emotions already can run high during the football premier championship event – particularly during matches between powerhouses like Brazil and its neighbour, Argentina – and there will likely be plenty of fans from both countries at the tournament, increasing the possibility of clashes.
There were dire warnings that Brazil would regret the decision to allow beer to flow during the World Cup during the debate over approving the measure.
Fifa will still have to negotiate permission for beer sales separately with the individual Brazilian states concerned.
The bill also gives Fifa exclusive rights to pictures, sound and other forms of expression linked to the World Cup, with criminal and financial sanctions for any illegal reproduction.
The measure also reserves 1% of admission tickets for the handicapped and mandates that 300 000 tickets should be sold at discounted prices.