January 19th, 2012
09:15 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – FIFA isn’t doing this for the fans, and I don’t think it’s doing it for football either.

The governing body’s “arrogant” (their word) insistence that alcohol should be sold in Brazil’s world cup stadiums has more to do with cold cash than cold beer.

FIFA receives tens of millions of dollars from Anheuser-Busch InBev - the giant brewing company which makes Budweiser - in World Cup sponsorship.

In South Africa in 2010, Budweiser was the only beer for sale in World Cup stadiums. Not surprising then that it outsold every other beverage on offer - sports drinks, soft drinks and bottled water combined.

Brazil is a key market for AB InBev – a valuable piece of fertile turf while business stagnates in Europe. Budweiser was launched there just last year, as a premium brand. No doubt that’s part of a strategy which includes the World Cup.

That’s the deal - and why shouldn’t the brewing giant get what it pays for?

Perhaps because it must have known about the law before it signed up to sponsor the World Cup.

But FIFA’s blunt dismissal of those laws suggests neither governing body nor brewer ever cared much.

The laws are there because of Brazilian football’s bloody record. One report in 2009 put Brazil at the top of the league for deaths as a result of violence in football - with 42 in a decade. Lawmakers are doing what they can to drop down that particular scoreboard.

People used to think it was ok for tobacco firms to sponsor sporting events. If FIFA really wants to support “fan culture”, as it says it does, it should be more careful about who it takes money from.

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Funke Modinat

    Alcohol intake is a form of stimulant for FANS who wants to get violent,it is actually an individual's personal error.Sponsorship of championships by top brewing comp is actually an ecstatic value and can't be completely overuled.
    Thank you!

    January 20, 2012 at 5:26 am |
  2. Tom

    Alcohol and tabocco products should be banned from sports, its bad on fifa promoting alcohol to young fans,how can sports body promote alcohol.government all over the world should stop promoting both tabacco and alcohol at sports events

    January 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  3. Mario

    Please Brazil maintain that rule and show the world that FIFA is a sporting organization and nothing else. The beautiful game for them is the beautiful $$$... Real sports people wouldnt care. And if Beer is so important to the FANS allow ALL BEERS and all drinks. FIFA your reputation has reached a very low...

    January 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  4. Kareninysimba

    I assume the law in Brazil would be prohibition of alcohol beverages in stadiums, right? You mentions the laws here, but not what they consist of.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  5. Rick

    The law here in Brazil is no alcohol at all inside the stadiums, period. FIFA shoud be about sports, not about beers. The thing is, Brazil is a HUGE market for beer companies and Budweiser is almost unknown here. If they do it like in Africa, where it was the only beer sold inside the stadiums, Budweiser would take a huge part of the beer market. Should we really change the law of someone's country just so a beer company can profit millions? And alcohol is forbiden INSIDE the stadium, outside (usualy on the parking lot) you can buy any beer or drink you want, but that would not be good for Budweiser since they wouldn't sell a lot...

    January 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  6. Sobel

    I think Brazil should have the right to make the choice that is best for its people. If they feel that having alcohol in games has potential to cause problems then let them keep the ban. I understand FIFA has a partnership with Budweiser, but this is no reason to overturn a law that Brazil believes is necessary for safety.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  7. Lance

    There has to be some sort of editorial error in the original post. It says:

    "Perhaps because it must have known about the law before it signed up to sponsor the World Cup.

    But FIFA’s blunt dismissal of those laws suggests neither governing body nor brewer ever cared much."

    However, in the six paragraphs before this, there is no mention of any laws regarding beer. So, one has to ask "what law"?

    January 21, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  8. erewhon

    The Brazilians probably know what Budweiser tastes like!!!.
    In South Africa, Budweiswer was the only beer in the stadia but they conceded their rights in the Fan parks because they could not handle the logistics. The local brewery took over that role and sold their own products.

    January 21, 2012 at 6:55 am |
  9. Jim

    Did FIFA call itself arrogant? What was it's "blunt dismissal" of the drinking laws of Brazil, and what power does a sporting body have to dismiss the laws of the land? Is this article a little short on facts and explanations, or is it just me?

    January 21, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  10. sean

    The government here is corrupt and will accept the offer if the price is right. I live in Sao Paulo and since last year Budweiswer has been available here and is getting more and more popular. It is part of AmBev, which is a Brazilian company whose parent company is InBev a Belgium company who bought Budweiswer, which was an american company until two or so years ago. The law says no alcohol inside the stadiums but most people just get drunk before the game on the street where locals illegally sale alcohol to minors. The police and government dont car about this because its just about money. Why is one of the best Stadiums in the country, Morumbi Stadium, not being used for the world cup? Because they wouldnt pay a billion dollar kick back. I dislike FIFA but dont make the Brazilian government into a saint when most people that live here apathetically know how corrupt they are.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  11. peterr54

    If FIFO is first- in- first- out, and LIFO is last- in- first -out then what the heck is FIFA?

    January 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  12. Marcos

    This time FIFA won't get what they want. Sorry.

    January 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  13. Tim

    This is a poorly written article.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  14. edg4evr

    Brazilian law should prevail over FIFA's demands. FIFA does not care about people. The bunch of corrupts only cares about money, One of this days they will be fighting to sponsor cocaine, (there's more money than in soccer).

    January 22, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  15. ercan

    Thank you, this article has helped me to http://www.boyacibadanaustasi.com/ understand something very important. Great!

    January 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  16. CinBrazil

    I am an American living in Goiania, GO Brazil. I attended the game between Brazil and Holland last year and saw beer being sold and consumed. The guy next to me drank at least six and the guy I went with drank two. I am confused by this argument/law as I have seen this allowed already at a FIFA sponsored event. I also attended a domestic league game and do not remember beer there, but it was certainly at the BR-HOL game.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  17. Aisha W

    I think that FIFA should respect the law in Brazil instead of trying to force in laws of their own. Especially if no "significant" laws are being broken. It's not like Brazil decided not to allow foreigners to attend the matches or something that could actually be considered an "issue" . it's just freakin' beer ! Everyone goes for beer after the match anyways, both winning and losing team fans lol

    January 23, 2012 at 5:32 am |
  18. Stu

    Brazilian Government is right. FIFA can't simply do what it wants. If Brazil will host the World Cup, then FIFA must respect their culture and law. After all, it's just about money. FIFA does not care about fans.

    January 24, 2012 at 3:24 am |
  19. Danilo Fernandes

    Sou Brasileiro e prefiro que deixe essa lei porque se permiti a cerveja vai ter muitas confusões aqui no Brasil e isso pode atrapalhar muito a COPA DO MUNDO No Brasil é melhor essa lei fica!

    January 28, 2012 at 3:57 am |
  20. Rafael

    It's all about money. The government here (I'm brazilian) don't give a damn about what it's best for it's people. We only have this law approved because the politicians thought they could earn a lot of money from InBev if they didn't vote it. But InBev didn't pay what they wanted so it became a national law. It happened when Ambev became the biggest company in the world buying Interbrew from Belgium and they though (the politicians) they could take advantage of it making the company's business tougher. There's nothing to do with violence or caring about people. It's cultural, everybody loves drinking beer while they watch football games and it will always be like this. Today people don't go to stadiums anymore because there's no beer. Violence always existed and people never stop going to stadiums.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  21. Angelo

    Giving beer to Brazilians is like dumping a tank of gasoline on a small fire. Most Brazilians have German and Italian ancestry so that means they are Oktoberfest and wine lovers do you really want to do this FIFA? You should cause I really want to see some lovely chaos.

    February 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  22. Fabio

    Bud in Brasil taste bad.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  23. Rerison

    Brazil already gave up on the half price ticket for students and elder now does Brazilian government gonna skip another law rule? What a shame!?!

    February 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  24. joao policarpo

    sou brazileiro sim . mais odeio futebol. odeio pessoas que acham porque sou brazileiro tenho que gostar de futebol

    February 19, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  25. Paulo

    Sou brasileiro e tenho certeza que o governo brasileiro esta certo! A Lei e brasileira e a FIFA deve respeitar e basta!

    February 22, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  26. Ana

    FIFA, please , respect our laws here, in Brazil.
    Sport X Beer is not acceptable.
    we say no thanks.
    Listen, we love beer, we love wine, but is it necessary on this moment?

    February 25, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  27. Carolina

    Does FIFA have any idea of how violent are football games in Brasil? Since I arrived here (Brasil) I heard of at least 3 killings all because the people killed were of the "wrong" team. It's a shame FIFA is trying to change Brazilian , endangering fans just to make profits.

    March 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  28. karina

    I hate brazil's world cup

    March 7, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  29. EmmillyUSA

    No use criticizing Brazil very soon will be the world's first in everything you want it or not!

    March 9, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  30. Tatiana

    As a brazilian, I seriously hope that the brazilian government suspends The World Cup here. It's the last thing we need. It already costed a lot of tax payers money on stadiums and all that crap. I'd rather see the public money being invested on public hospitals, public schools, universities, scientific research, infra-structure, urban reform and security (much needed) than buried on stupid stadiums and in the pockets of contractors and corrupt politicians. The population was not consulted on this huge decision to host a World Cup (there was no referendum whatsoever) and was manipulated into this media driven mass hysteria.

    March 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  31. Rainor

    The real Budweizer is from Czech Republic.

    March 14, 2012 at 4:40 am |
  32. Anonymous

    I can say that minkyu is so cool. Thanks for the helpful post.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  33. Marcelo

    Os brasileiros adoram lavar a roupa suja fora de casa. As opiniões aqui neste forum demonstram esta verdade.

    Brazilians love show the bad things of their Country to the world. The opinions here are the example.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  34. Junior Queiroz

    Os organizadores e todos que tirão vantagens do esporte, pensão primeiro neles depois neles ,neles ,neles, neles sobrou um tempo novamente neles ,neles,$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$...

    April 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  35. Brazilio


    Beer is just an addiction, bad for health and good for battles.

    May 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  36. dbrown

    American beer in Brazil ? Just say no( taste).Fifa is arrogant and corrupt.As an American and a football fan,not the screwy,violent,PED infused game where players die with their brains maimed by concusions,why should FIFA have the say on whether beer is to be sold?

    June 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  37. Paulo

    Idiotas esses brasileiros que insistem em lavar roupa suja em um site americano! Esse cara de Goiânia esqueceu que estava em Goiânia, pq em Sao Paulo a bebida alcoólica nao e vendida e nem consumida em estádio de futebol, isso e fato! Mais corrupta do que a FIFa, nao existe! A Lei e brasileira e deve ser respeitada! Essa reportagem e muito ruim, péssima!

    June 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  38. Paulo

    Já foi um grande erro fazer a cola no Brasil! Pra que, temos outras prioridade mais importantes!

    June 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  39. Diana

    Inbev is certainly well known in Brazil, since it is a Brazilian company so whether they sell Bud, the American brand or the local jmore popular brand Brahma, they will make out like a bandit – inside or outside the stadium. Besides the violence attributed to drinking in the stadium, the government wants football to be safe and fun for the entire family to enjoy.

    July 3, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  40. Marc Schipperheyn

    No amount of bullying can hide the fact that Budweiser is crap beer.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  41. nate

    Brazil won`t be ready for the World Cup.... beer sales and sponsorships are the least of brazil`s worries right now.

    August 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  42. Blues

    Maybe Brazilians like to write about the bad things in Brazil on international sites as a way to call for help?

    September 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
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  47. Eduarda

    FIFA must respect the brazilian law.It exists because the fans couldn't control themselves and used to end up a game fighting and killing each other. As it was said, FIFA isn't doing it because of the fans. The only thing she wants is to recieve millions of dollars from the brewing company.

    October 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  48. Roberto

    FIFA need respect our law here in Brazil, probabily if have alcohol in stadions people gonna get hurt.
    I don't think FIFA care about people and soccer, they just care about money.
    I hope anyone die or get hurt in the world cup if the alcolhol is released.

    October 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

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