Brazil Legend Romario Blasts FIFA for Trying to Change Brazilian Law

October 11, 2011

Former Brazil football star now turned congressman Romario has criticized Fifa for attempting to change Brazilian law ahead of the 2014 World Cup

Romario, 45, believes laws that guarantee half-price tickets to students and pensioners should not be dissolved. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Fifa President Sepp Blatter have been debating this issue for a while and other similar subjects.

The former World Cup winner spoke while he was visiting Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium, which is being refurbished for the tournament.

“If Fifa is not put in its rightful place it will soon have more power than our president,” he said.

Romario said Fifa could bear the brunt of maintaining discounted tickets for students and pensioners during the tournaments estimated at around $100m.

He added: “Fifa could earn a little bit less so that the Brazilians can take part.” Fifa have said the money it makes from World Cup tournaments is reinvested in football.

Romario continued the issue on his twiter page.

“Brazil needs to stop this business of becoming a slave of Fifa,” he tweeted. “The sovereignty of the country must be respected”.

Romario also warned that infrastructure projects needed for the tournament, including airports and urban transport, were behind schedule.

“Brazil is certainly not going to stage the best World Cup in history as some have said,” he warned.It is not going to be a World Cup for the Brazilian people.”

Last month the head of Fifa Sepp Blatter wrote to to express concern over delays in the construction of stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup.

Fifa has also been pressing for the rapid approval of the World Cup law, which also covers the protection of trademarks, television rights and the sale of alcohol in stadiums. The Brazilian congress is currently debating a bill that would meet Fifa’s conditions for the tournament.