FIFA Insists It Will Be Able to Sell Beer at 2014 World Cup, Despite Brazilian Laws Banning Alcohol at Matches


January 19, 2012

With Brazil set to host the World Cup in two years, it should be safe to assume that the host nation has dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's in its contract with FIFA, soccer's governing body.

Think again.

The BBC notes that one of the most surprisingly contentious terms of the agreement has been the right of FIFA to sell alcohol at the games.

Since 2003, Brazil has had a law that banned the sale and consumption of alcohol at soccer matches in order to help prevent fan violence. FIFA is demanding that the law be changed for the 2014 tournament, due in large part to their sponsorship deal with Budweiser.

"Alcoholic drinks are part of the FIFA World Cup, so we're going to have them," FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said during a visit to Rio de Janeiro. "Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that's something we won't negotiate."

Meanwhile, Brazilian health minister Alexandre Padilha urged the country's Congress to maintain the ban. His opinion may not have the desired impact, however, since it seems FIFA will not bend on this issue. Considering how much the nation has already invested in hosting the tournament, giving it up over a few beers would not be a wise decision.

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