BRASILIA: FIFA has indicated it is not prepared to accept any further amendment to the ‘World Cup Law’ which was signed off last year by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Three clauses in the text of the law, which provides a judicial foundation for the staging of the finals in Brazil next year, have been challenged by the Attorney-General’s Office. One of those clauses provides ‘pensions of thanks’ to Brazil’s World Cup-winning players from 1958, 1962 and 1970.
World federation FIFA was hampered in its own preparations for this year’s Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup by haggling over the original Bill which was halted frequently during the parliamentary process by one objection of another.
The World Cup General Law was approved by Congress in late March of last year, Senate followed up at the start of May and Rousseff then signed it into law with four amendments. One concerned relaxations on local by-laws allowing the sale of alcohol within stadium zones which needed regional approval.
Last week the Attorney-General’s office confirmed objections to three clauses and Rousseff’s office has now filed a counter-argument. It is understood the two other contentious clauses concern the civil liability of the government against damages claims and the exemption of FIFA from certain levies and legal expenses.
These two issues arose after concerns over where responsibility lay for meeting claims for damages prompted by incidents during the mass street protests which erupted during last month’s Confederations Cup.
The Brazilian media has reported FIFA as rejecting any further alteration to the law and stating: “The constitutionality of the General Law of the Cup was carefully studied by both the federal government and the Congress before being adopted in 2012. As these bodies, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee believe that the World Cup General Law is constitutional. ”
FIFA has always pointed out that it did not ask Brazil to host the World Cup, the bid was generated by then President Lula and approved by the world football federation in October 2007 only after his government had accepted all the conditions and guarantee provisions.
The law included a FIFA concession allowing the half-price sale of 50,000 tickets to students, pensioners, the disabled and those on social security while other clauses included adjusting school holidays (to ease transport concerns) and the ‘pensions of thanks’ awards.