While the World Cup gets nearer and nearer, the dispute between the Brazilian government and FIFA hasn’t been solved. At stake, as usual, money. FIFA has a big publicity contract with beer company Budweiser, which includes exclusive rights to sales at 2014 World Cup venues. However, Brazil has legislation that prohibits the sale of any alcoholic beverages at soccer matches.
Now the minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha, has declared that he is opposed to the sale of any alcoholic beverages in Brazilian stadiums pursuant to the Soccer Fan Statute (Estatuto do Torcedor), which prohibits the sale.
In testimony before a commission in the Chamber of Deputies (Comissão Especial sobre o Consumo de Bebidas Alcoólicas na Câmara dos Deputados.), Padilha said he was in favor of upholding the law as it is.
All this takes place against a background of intense negotiations regarding a legislative bill created to govern the 2014 World Soccer Cup (Lei Geral da Copa) that is moving through the Congress. The congressman herding the bill through the legislative process, deputy Vicente Candido (PT-SP), has already declared his support for the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Meanwhile, the minister of Sports, Aldo Rebelo, who will also testify before the commission and is one of the designated Brazilian negotiators with FIFA, called for a balanced approach to the problem.
Rebelo pointed out that the consumption of alcohol is not a crime in Brazil. Rebelo added that he not a specialist in either health or security, but would like all sides of the problem to be taken into consideration.
The minister, who is a member of the Brazilian communist party, called the dispute something natural in capitalism, a conflict between sponsors and people promoting an event. And he asked:”How come people can drink at a Madonna show, but not at a soccer match?”
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