Brazil's Congress postponed key legislation about the 2014 World Cup Wednesday, frustrating FIFA officials further who say passage of the bill is needed to begin preparations for the competition.
Controversy about the bill surrounded the selling of alcohol in stadiums. Brazil banned selling the beverage in 2003 to cut down on rowdy brawls and hooliganism.
But FIFA wants beer to be sold in 12 stadiums where the games will be played to appease Budweiser, one of the biggest sponsors of the game. Brazil promised to sell beer in stadiums when it won the bid to host the Cup in 2007.
Congress was supposed to vote on the bill Wednesday but the ruling coalition delayed it because they said it would likely have been defeated, reported Reuters. After Congress passes the bill, it will move on to the Senate before Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff can sign it into law.
Last week Rousseff herself promised FIFA officials the legislation would pass but ruling-party legislators are reluctant to lift the ban on alcohol.
Critics of the legislation believe Brazil is handing over its sovereignty to FIFA. Pentecostal legislators oppose lifting the ban because it does not coincide with their religious beliefs. Other legislators just feel like they are being abused by Rousseff government.
However Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said the ban will be lifted as promised by Brazil.
Guarantees were given (to FIFA) by the Brazilian government, but the governors of the states that are to host matches also signed those guarantees. The government's interpretation is that those commitments are featured in the bill, said Rebelo.
The overall bill would provide a framework for the organization of the 2014 World Cup.
FIFA and the Brazilian government are also having a problem deciding ticket prices. As of now, students and pensioners get half-prince entry into sports events and concerts. FIFA only wants to set aside 300,000 tickets for students and pensions so the games can raise as much revenue as possible.
Brazilian football federation president Jose Maria Marin told the Associated Press he was confident the 2014 World Cup bill will eventually be approved despite the delays.
I have no doubt that the congressmen, regardless of their parties, will understand our commitments and will be thinking about what is best for Brazil, and what is best for Brazil is to host a great World Cup,'' Marin said.