Brazil Senate Lifts Ban on Alcohol for 2014 World Cup

By Community | May 10, 2012

Brazil’s Senate has relieved some of the pressure surrounding hosting the 2014 World Cup by lifting of a federal ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks in stadiums during the tournament.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), sale the world’s largest brewer, pill extended in October its beer sponsorship for the FIFA World Cup through 2022. The legislation now needs to be signed by President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazil currently bans consumption of alcoholic beverages at sporting events held in stadiums because of concern it fuels violence. Five of the 12 Brazilian states that will host World Cup games still have local laws that prohibit sales of alcohol in stadiums and may have to suspend them, Senator Ana Amelia de Lemos, a member of the government coalition and one of the sponsors of the bill, told reporters in Brasilia yesterday.

“This could end in court as some states can still forbid beverages,” Lemos said. “If you don’t allow beverages, an international agreement is broken, creating legal uncertainty that undermines Brazil’s image.”

Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo and the chairman of the country’s soccer confederation Jose Maria Marin met FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Zurich on May 8 to discuss the project. FIFA said Brazil has made “significant progress” on preparing stadiums for the tournament.

Relations between FIFA, which is world soccer’s governing body, and the Brazilian government became strained after the country delayed approving the bill. Brazil committed to enact the legislation when it was awarded the $5 billion event almost five years ago. FIFA also complained earlier this year about slow progress in building stadiums.