New Sports Law in Venezuela Could Mean Trouble for FIFA

August 4, 2011

FIFA are on the warpath after it was discovered the Venezuela parliament approved a controversial sports law that is set to threaten the independence of its sports federations.

The controversial bill will allow the country’s athletes to vote for officials in their federations, while establishing a “sports justice commission” that could undermine the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF).

FIFA are displeased to say the least sating last week that “the law could be considered a direct interference by the government in affairs that are exclusive to the FVF.”

Venezuela has had trouble with FIFA before after previously threatened with suspension by FIFA in 2005, when a civil court interfered in elections for the FVF chairman. Both FIFA and the International Olympic Committee have a history of clamping down severely on any acts they perceive as political interference in sport

On the other hand, Venezuela’s Sports Minister Hector Rodriguez remains unconcerned of any potential action from world governing bodies. “There were some big lies saying we would be disaffiliated from international events,” he said, according to Reuters. “Today we can see that all those lies fell under their own weight.”

The law, which still needs President Hugo Chavez’s approval, would also see the establishment of a sports development fund that would place a 1% tax on companies that register annual profits exceeding $350,000.