Brazilian Senate approves ‘Budweiser bill’ ending dispute with FIFA over World Cup sponsoring
The Brazilian senate approved a bill Wednesday giving FIFA the guarantees needed to organize the 2014 World Cup. The approval came just a day after the Brazilian government met with FIFA officials in Switzerland to discuss the country's preparations and resolve their differences.
The bill will go before Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who is expected to sign it.
Congress' lower house passed the bill in March after several delays, especially over the sale of alcohol inside stadiums -- currently against the law in Brazil but a FIFA demand because Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor.
The approved legislation doesn't specifically authorize alcohol sales, but the government says other articles in the proposed law will allow Brazil to fulfil FIFA's requirement.
”Like the majority of the population, I was against allowing (the sale of alcohol inside stadiums) Sen. Ana Amelia said. We are just ratifying what was done by the executive branch.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter closed Tuesday's meeting at FIFA's headquarters asking the Brazilian senate to expedite voting on the bill, which establishes the financial and legal guarantees for the World Cup and next year's Confederations Cup.
We shall look forward and not backwards, Blatter said. I invite not only the executive in Brazil, but also the legislative, the senate, to look forward in solidarity and the benefit of this World Cup.”
Without the text specifically authorizing the sale of alcohol, FIFA theoretically will have to negotiate with a few states which currently have legislation banning alcohol sales inside stadiums, but the government has said such deals likely will not be difficult to achieve. All states also signed commitments to FIFA.
In a meeting with Blatter in the nation's capital in March, the Brazilian government promised to have the bill passed so it could fulfil the commitments made to football's governing body when it accepted to host the tournament in 2007.