Brazil's World Cup beer battle -

Brazil’s World Cup beer battle

FIFA has a beer sponsor for the World Cup, but Brazil has a beer ban in stadiums

World Cup buzz kill
Pedro Silveira/AP

Brazil has been giving FIFA, soccer’s governing body, quite a headache over beer. The South American country known for its raucous Mardi Gras and its uninhibited beaches has, surprisingly, a ban on alcohol during soccer matches.

With just two years to go before the country will host soccer’s biggest party, the World Cup, Brasilia has yet to alter its strict ban on alcohol in soccer stadiums. FIFA’s secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, recently went as far as to say Brazil needed a “kick in the pants.” (President Dilma Rousseff later received an apology for the slight from FIFA president Joseph Blatter.) Far from being the kick-start Valcke intended, the move gave Brazilian senators another reason to continue stalling last week, demanding Blatter appear at a hearing before a bill to allow alcohol sales goes to the Senate.

FIFA wants the ban lifted. It has promised its long-term partner, the beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev, that Budweiser will be the World Cup’s official beer in 2014.