FIFA Orders Brazil To Overturn Ban On Selling Beer At World Cup Matches
from the I-am-the-law dept
One of the recurrent themes on Techdirt is the sense of entitlement the owners of various kinds of monopolies display, and their common belief that being able to maximize the profit from those monopolies trumps any other consideration.
For example, FIFA, the world governing body for soccer/football, uses its monopoly on organizing the World Cup to demand some rather extraordinary privileges. Here are just some of the things the UK government was prepared to accept as part of its bid to host the 2018 World Cup:
The U.K. said it would meet FIFA’s requirements to create a 2-kilometer perimeter around stadiums, and said the right to conduct commercial activities there was subject to the approval of FIFA or its appointees. The government also agreed to suspend some labor laws that affected FIFA’s activities and to lift restrictions on the import and export of foreign currency.
FIFA is currently trying to assert similar rights in Brazil, where the 2014 World Cup will be held:
Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke said the right to sell beer must be enshrined in a World Cup law the Brazilian Congress is considering.
Alcoholic drinks are currently banned at Brazilian stadiums and the country’s health minister has urged Congress to maintain the ban in the new law.
FIFA evidently believes that keeping its sponsors happy (Budweiser is a “big Fifa sponsor” according to the article quoted above) is much more important than local laws or people’s health. Valke explains:
“Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate,” he said.
“A bit arrogant”? Surely not…