Brazil is gearing up for the World Cup in 2014. The event is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars as soccer fans from all over the world converge on Brazil. There is only one problem: Brazil doesn’t allow alcoholic drinks in its stadiums. Take a moment to let that sink in. This is a big problem for Fifa. Not only is getting drunk and punching someone a time honored soccer tradition, but Budweiser is one of Fifa’s biggest sponsors. Unfortunately, the drinking ban is a federal law passed by Brazil’s congress. So, we guess Fifa is going to have to live with it. We’re kidding, they are totally forcing them to change their laws so they can sell beer.
The Brazilian congress is meeting to discuss whether or not to lift the ban on booze in the stadiums. Fifa is pretty heated about the whole thing. For them, it’s a do or die situation. Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said, “Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate.” Yikes. Brazil passed the ban in 2003 in the hopes of toning down the massive drunken brawls that would inevitably come after games. While we enjoy a good $13 beer at a game as much as the next drunken fan, it does set a dangerous precedent. This sports organization is telling a sovereign government that they have to meet their demands, and we all know they will. What choice do they have? It’s like if the NFL told the state of Pennsylvania that they needed to legalize dog fights so Michael Vick wouldn’t get in trouble. Fifa is too powerful and Brazil needs the World Cup. When you force a government to bend to your will, that’s usually called imperialism, right?