BRASILIA: Brazil is already back-tracking on the promises made by President Dilma Rousseff to FIFA’s Sepp Blatter writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Last week, in a hastily-called summit in Brasilia, Rousseff told the president of the world football federation that her government would stand by all the guarantees given by predecessor Lula when the 2014 finals were awarded in 2007.
To that end, Rousseff believed she had struck a deal with parliamentarians over her cost-cutting proposals in return for approval – after a year’s delay – of the World Cup law which underpins the staging of the tournament in Brazil.
However . . . a rebellion by Congressmen has seen them withdraw from the proposed text of the law a controversial clause overturning a ban on the sale of alcohol within World Cup stadia. This is crucial for FIFA not only because Budweiser is one of its major World Cup sponsors but because other commercial partners are watching the world federation closely for assurances about its own will to keep its promises.
Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has tried to play down the effect of the retreat, saying that alcohol sale law enforcement is an issue controlled by the various Brazilian states. Hence, he has suggested, FIFA can negotiate direct with the regional governments.
This will not go down well back in Zurich.
FIFA irritation over prolonged delays of all sorts in Brazil’s preparations for 2014 exploded with secretary-general Jerome Valcke saying politicians and local organisers needed a “kick up the backside.”
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