FIFA: Beer must be sold at World Cup
Friday, 20th January 2012 at 08:29am
In surely what must be the only FIFA policy in recent years to gain the support of the overwhelming majority of football fans, football's governing body have insisted that all stadiums at the Brazil World Cup sell beer.
The sale of alcohol is currently banned in football stadia in Brazil but FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke insisted that officials in Brazil must reverse that policy for the finals.
"Alcoholic drinks are part of the FIFA World Cup, so we're going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that's something we won't negotiate," he said at the end of a visit to Brazil to meet with the local organizing committee.
FIFA have insisted on a number of occasions that they receive the authorization for beer sales in the stadia and added that it was made clear to the Brazilian organizing committee when they were awarded the 2014 finals.
The game's governing body has an agreement with one of its sponsors - brewing giant Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser and the refusal by Brazilian officials would cut into FIFA's match day revenue.
A bill is currently making its way through congress that will create an exception, allowing beer to be sold in plastic cups at World Cup matches.
Aldo Rebelo, sports minister for Brazil, said he was confident that the bill would be passed by March.
"I think we should have a final position," said Valcke, adding, "We are not talking about all kinds of alcoholic beverages, only beer."
During the visit, Valcke also commented that the work on a World Cup stadium in Natal is a concern for FIFA.
Work on the stadium is behind schedule, he said, and that FIFA will be monitoring the project closely.