BRASILIA: At last Brazil’s congress has approved the World Cup Law – including the most controversial clause which suspends a prohibition on the sale of alcohol within stadia scheduled to host the 2014 finals.

Approval, after a year of delays, came quickly after world federation has turned its big guns on Brazil by appointing, in an unprecedented step, its entire executive committee to its own World Cup organizing committee.

Approval by Congress will be a major relief to FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary-general Jerome Valcke who had grown increasingly, angrily, impatient at the manner in which congressmen had played politics with the Bill – bargaining approval against other legislative concessions by President Dilma Rousseff.

The Bill will go on to the Senate and then for signature into law by Rousseff. Its provisions concern not only the World Cup but also next year’s ‘warm-up’ Confederations Cup.

On ticketing, it has been agreed between FIFA and the local organizing authority that 10pc of tickets will be sold in the lowest-price Category Four will cost only around $25. This is the category which serves as a gesture to Brazilian law guaranteeing half-price tickets to pensioners and students.

Total ticket numbers concerned are 50,000 for the Confederations Cup and 300,000 for the World Cup itself.

Pensioners will also have the right to buy tickets at half-price in all categories including within hospitality packages. One per cent of tickets at reduced price will be available to the disabled.

The Bill includes ramped-up sanctions against attempts at ambush or pirate marketing and sets an ‘inclusion zone’ of up to 2km in which sales of alcohol will be permitted. This has been a major issue for FIFA since Budweiser is one of its main, high-spending World Cup sponsors.

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