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…

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and on Google+

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: fifa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “FIFA Orders Brazil To Overturn Ban On Selling Beer At World Cup Matches”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Clash of the Moronic Titans

Just reading about an alcohol ban clashing with a monopoly is enough to hurt my head. If alcohol is so dangerous that it needs to be banned at Brazilian stadiums then it should be banned countrywide, period. Should FIFA have the right to bypass the laws of the countries that host it’s event? Hell no.

Either outcome in this strange battle will just support one bad idea or the other. How do you choose the lesser of two stupids?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Clash of the Moronic Titans

Agree with the law or not, it is the law of Brazil and not of law which has reach outside of the country, and it is not a law which is any more stupid then US laws saying when you can buy alcohol ( ). Even if it is a stupid law, if those in Brazil want it, who are we (excluding those from Brazil who are reading this) to argue with them.

This is simply a story of FIFA telling Brazil to change their local laws since FIFA doesn’t like it, and saying that Brazil must change their laws and it is non negotiable.

frosty840 says:

Re: Clash of the Moronic Titans

It has been found that the behavioural response to alcohol is largely an illusory/cultural construction, other than the general loss of coordination and long-term depressant effects.

If the norm in Brazil is that drinking alcohol at football matches causes a specific danger then it is perfectly sensible to prevent the drinking of alcohol at football matches so that that specific danger does not occur.

There is no need, if there is not a generally dangerous cultural reaction to alcohol in Brazil, to ban the general consumption of alcohol.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Clash of the Moronic Titans

If driving over 20mph is so dangerous in school zones 20mph should just be the max speed everywhere. That’s how stupid you sound. If its too dangerous to keep lions as household pets zoos shouldn’t get them either. If porn is so dangerous for minors. To view then no one should get to see it.

Nothing is situational, everything is absolute

Chris From Poland says:

ACTA in Poland

Offtopic, since the PHP for the feedback box does not seem to work: dear Techdirt, over the last months this website became the go-to source for information on SOPA/PIPA & ACTA. Please write more on the ongoing debate against ACTA in Poland, since this is essential if other countries are to hold such an open debate as well. Right now ACTA is the sole topic of our media and our people and it looks like Poland has a fighting chance of nuking this shit for the benefit of others. Please write more, keep people informed and fight the good fight!

Anonymous Coward says:

Here’s a better solution, the governments should just say ‘screw you FIFA, and screw you other sport leagues, we aren’t changing our laws or subsidizing you in any way’.

Really, too many people look at sport figures as if their idols worth worshiping, just look at the outrageous amount of attention/worship Joe PA is getting in his death, despite being fired just a month or two before for not reporting sexual abuse to the police.

Marcelo Negrini (profile) says:

Re: Just out of curiosity

I?m Brazilian, and I can?t tell you it will never happen. In Latin America football (soccer) is a source of corruption and social control. FIFA and the national federations are almighty and do as they please, since politicians do billions and get elected on top of football. Beer will be sold freely at the World Cup in Brazil, no matter how much posturing some congressmen are doing, knowing it is all for show. This is why we are third-world, or, as it is politically correct to say, “emerging countries”.

know coward says:

Re: How do they screen for hosts?

“You think FIFA would have a list of requirements it would have for any World Cup host, including forcing people to drink beer. It shouldn’t be something that pops up as a “by the way” two years before the event is to kick off.”

This ^ if it was a requirement it should have been in negitiations from the get go. Poor planning on FIFA’s part is not an issue brazil should have to deal with now.

Al Bert (profile) says:

on the other hand

Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate.

So, to paraphrase: “My arrogant words are justified by my arrogance.” It’s a step away from being a LOLCAT circular definition.
While yes, i think the demands over alcohol are ridiculous and typical of the entitled, the concessions made by the UK seem quite a bit shadier. That’s just my first take anyway.

Shane Roach (profile) says:

Beer Riots

Maybe instead of having laws against beer, Brazil should enforce existing laws against rioting in the street. I don’t intend to prove it right this minute, but my instinct tells me that is the origin of that ridiculous law.

My opinion on this has little to do with IP law, but if you intend to host a huge sporting event, and people all over most of the world like to have a beer when they watch, then you might consider not being self righteous about the morality surrounding drinking a few beers while watching soccer while inviting said people to play in your country.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...