Brazil Congress to Vote on World Cup Alcohol Sales
Budweiser's sponsorship of the 2014 World Cup could sway Brazil to revise a law banning booze at games.
Congressmen in Brazil will take a vote tomorrow on whether to allow the sale of alcohol in stadiums during the 2014 soccer World Cup. The issue is divisive and the vote has already been delayed by two weeks. FIFA, soccer's international ruling body, says Brazil must allow the sale of beer inside stadiums during the World Cup and the Confederations Cup next year—largely because Budweiser is a major sponsor of the events. But some congressmen oppose this; selling alcohol in Brazilian soccer stadiums has been against the law for years and fan violence at games has been reduced as a result. If booze is allowed to be sold, it would only be for these two competitions, and would be mostly limited to beer in plastic cups—only those in the VIP areas would have access to other alcoholic drinks. "If the commission approves this, we will take our fight to the [lower house and the senate], this is a mistake,'' says opposition congressman Wanderlei Macris. FIFA, which earns big money from World Cup-related deals, has already lost battles on other 2014 issues, such as limiting cheaper tickets for elderly and students—another guarantee currently mandated by Brazilian law. Brazil will be hosting the World Cup for the first time since 1950.