BRASILIA: The contentious World Cup Law, needed to underpin the staging of the 2014 finals in Brazil, has fallen victim to internal political wrangling.

President Dilma Rousseff failed to throw the weight of her office behind approval of the proposed law after coming into power at the start of last year and the consequences are now being seen with deadlock in the parliamentary process.

Congressmen with other causes and concerns are, in effect, holding the World Cup Law ransom. An attempt to force through the Bill last week was blocked and Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has suggested it may not now resurface until after Easter.

Congressman Henrique Eduardo Alves said: “Even as the Bill stands we could not raise the necessary number of votes to get it through which would a disastrous signal from this country to FIFA. We have a lot of work to do to persuade the silent majority to become a noisy majority.”

The most controversial clause concerns a reversal of laws barring the sale of alcohol in World Cup stadia. Rebelo has suggested that this text might be removed from the Bill and that FIFA should then negotiate with the various regional governments.

Eight of the 12 chosen venues enforce an alcohol sales ban in local stadia.

The government leader in congress has disagreed openly with Rebelo. Arlindo Chinaglia said: “Because there are so many different interpretations of the present law it is essential that the federal government signs this off.”

Early this month FIFA’s secretary-general Jerome Valcke said that Brazil needed “a kick up the backside” because of the delays. FIFA president Sepp Blatter though he had extracted a promise of progress at a summit meeting with Rousseff.

In fact, her own power appears limited.

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