A few weeks ago now we wrote about how FIFA were heading into a pre-World Cup contretemps with hosts Brazil over a couple of items – the sale of beer within the stadia (which is currently prohibited in Brazil) and limits on the number of discounted ticket available to pensioners and students.
In typical amateurish FIFA style, the Secretary General of the much-derided organisation, Jerome Valcke, decided it would help things along to say that the Brazilians needed a ‘kick up the backside’ and were more concerned about winning the competition than setting it up. The fact that Mr Valcke’s organisation is clearly the one needing a ‘kick up the backside’ had clearly passed him by and Brazil, through sports minister Aldo Rebelo, responded by rightly saying it wanted no further contact with Valcke.
Valcke consequently backed down immediately and sent a letter to the Brazilian sports ministry to apologise. The elderly head of this FIFA, Sepp Blatter decided he would apologise too, stating that he wanted to “apologise to everyone who may have had their honour and their pride hurt, especially the Brazilian government and President Dilma Rousseff.”
Being the greedy commercial organisation that it is, FIFA want to restrict the sale of beer inside the stadia to it’s corporate sponsors, forcing everyone to drink a low quality, mass produced product. The first hurdle to overcome is the illegality of beer consumption within Brazilian arenas and there is currently a bill passing through the Brazilian Congress. That bill is facing some pretty stiff opposition and it seems that FIFA are now trying to surreptitiously impose their own will on the Brazilian congress. If that’s the case, FIFA’s actions are completely unacceptable and an apology is the least it should be offering.
It’s fair to say that Brazil is experiencing one or two issues regarding it’s preparation for the 2014 World Cup but nothing which won’t ultimately be overcome. Nine of the twelve stadiums will be either renovated or constructed by the end of 2012 and the remaining three will be finished during 2013. This is alongside a number of other infrastructure improvements which will contribute to Brazil’s world cup legacy.