Commission gives green light to 2014 World Cup law
The agreement comes after FIFA and 2014 World Cup organisers last week suffered another blow in their efforts to secure the law governing the tournament after voting on the bill was delayed once again – an issue that contributed to the high-profile spat between FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo. The law has suffered repeated delays, frustrating world football’s governing body, but was partially approved by the Brazilian congressional commission last week.
The new law regulates commercial rights, alcohol sales and advertising rules for the tournament and rubber-stamps the final commitments Brazil’s federal government made to FIFA in its bid to host the World Cup and the 2013 Confederations Cup. The Associated Press reported that some protesters held banners criticising Valcke as the commission prepared to vote on the bill in Brasilia, the nation’s capital. There have been wide concerns that world football’s governing body should not be allowed to overstep Brazilian law, contributing to the delays. These concerns had been exacerbated by Valcke’s recent comments.
The main sticking point for the passing of the bill was the sale of alcohol inside the World Cup venues, as Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor. FIFA had demanded that Brazil’s current ban on alcohol at football venues be changed, but critics said it took Brazil a long time to introduce the ban, a move that helped reduce fan violence at games. “I don’t think it’s reasonable to make such a big investment in stadiums and then penalise the vendors during the matches,” said congressman Vicente Candido, the bill’s author. “It’s a unique moment, in which there will be control and punishment to those who abuse.” Another point of debate came in the form of the ticketing policy for the tournament. The elderly will now be able to buy half-priced tickets in all categories, and 300,000 tickets will be reserved at lower prices for students and participants of some government programmes for the poor. Following Tuesday’s approval by the commission the bill still needs to pass through Brazil’s lower house and senate before reaching President Dilma Rousseff.