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...

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Swedish Turnip (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:13am

    "Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup"

    So is hooliganism, surely the two cannot be related?

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:22am

    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?

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:34am

      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 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_law ). 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.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re: Clash of the Moronic Titans

        "it is not a law which is any more stupid then US laws saying when you can buy alcohol"

        And it is equally as stupid as many US "dry towns" where alcohol is prohibited.

         

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      frosty840, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:44am

      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.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:58am

        Re: Re: Clash of the Moronic Titans

        If beer is exempted, what would be next? Cigarettes?

        I wish their official hold their standard and don't allow internation events to trample the law.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 6:59am

      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

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 9:04am

      Re: Clash of the Moronic Titans

      Really? Really?

      What's moronic is that there has to be a law to keep people from acting like assholes, or are you defending drunken hooligans?

       

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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 1:03am

    Hey this is tame. Didn't the Olympics want a "guilty-until-proven-innocent" policy in place for those who advertise during the Olympic Games without their permission?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 1:44am

    "World Cup law"?

    New World (Cup) Order?

     

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    identicon
    Chris From Poland, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:12am

    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!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 5:17am

    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.

     

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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 5:20am

    Just out of curiosity

    What happens to FIFA if the Brazilians tell them to get stuffed, and manage to convince the rest of Latin America to go along?

     

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      crade (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:33am

      Re: Just out of curiosity

      Thats what I was thinking, Brazil should just stop going to the world cup and start their own world soccer tournament. FUFIFA has a nice ring to it.

       

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      Marcelo Negrini, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 5:35pm

      Re: Just out of curiosity

      Iīm Brazilian, and I canīt 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".

       

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    slarabee (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 8:06am

    Football and Beer

    Well at the risk of agitating the rest of the world outside America I would have to say that football is rather boring without drunken riots.

    And of course regarding American football well we need beer so we don't ask ourselves the obvious questions like "Why is it called football if no one uses their feet?"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 8:20am

    Glynn,

    These countries have a CHOICE in the matter, they can choose not to host the World Cup. It's always their choice - no one is forcing them to host the events. Also, it's not just about keeping their sponsors happy, but also about keeping their fans happy.

     

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    Richard John (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 9:22am

    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.

     

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      know coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 7:07am

      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.

       

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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 9:32am

    I do not always watch football, but when I do I will be drinking beer goddammit!!!

    Stay hooliganing, my friends!

     

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    Al Bert (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 10:54am

    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.

     

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    Jesse (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Allow alcoholic drinks and ban peaceful protests (in the name of public safety).

     

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    JaDe, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    It'll get even better...

    Just wait till it gets close to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar where alcohol is banned outright.

     

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    Joe Fenton (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Compromise

    They should compromise - lift the ban on SELLING alcohol at stadiums, but keep the ban on BUYING or CONSUMING alcohol at stadiums. Problem solved! :)

     

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    DAN, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:12pm

    The USA set the example!

    How is this different the Professional "sports" in America? It seems that pretty dictate or license the terms here and FIFA has decided they can do so also.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 10:19pm

    You people sound like you're two steps away from advocating prohibition, because that really worked well the last time anyone tried it.

    In this case FIFA is right -- but for the wrong reasons.

    Techdirt, you disappoint me for failing to observe the obvious.

     

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      Dan Nup, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 7:37am

      Re:

      Yes, prohibiting the sale of alcohol inside stadiums, while allowing it everywhere else, including immediately outside the stadium, without any license, where people, 18 or older, can drink publicly, is almost like Prohibition. (/sarcasm)

      By those standards, the US is still under Prohibition.

       

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    Shane Roach (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 11:40am

    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.

     

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    Povinne ruceni, Apr 29th, 2012 @ 7:42pm

    Really

    Really it approve FIFA?

     

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