Brazil backs SWC beer sales
Brasilia - Brazil's senate on Wednesday approved the sale of beer during the 2014 Soccer World Cup matches, as demanded by football world governing body FIFA, despite warnings from some opposition members.
The senate passed a package of measures demanded by FIFA that include selling beer in plastic cups legislation.
The measures had already been approved in late March by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate made no amendments.
The bill, which still has to be ratified by President Dilma Rousseff, will also allow beer to be sold in stadiums during the 2013 Confederations Cup, but some lawmakers have expressed concern at the move.
Alcohol sales in sports arenas have been banned in Brazil since 2003, and some lawmakers said they feared its renewed availability could lead to violence.
"It's dangerous," warned Senator Jose Agripino Maia from the opposition DEM party.
"Just imagine a Brazil-Argentina final - imagine that with alcohol sales, the violence that could be unleashed and the embarrassment that we would endure."
Football powerhouses Brazil and Argentina have a long history of rivalry, and there will likely be plenty of fans from both countries at the tournament.
FIFA however will still have to negotiate permission for beer sales separately with the individual Brazilian states concerned.
Seven of the 12 cities that will host World Cup games have laws banning beer sales.
The bill also gives FIFA exclusive rights to pictures, sound and other forms of expression linked to the World Cup, with criminal and financial sanctions for any illegal reproduction.
It will also reserve one percent of admission tickets for the handicapped and mandates that 300 000 tickets should be sold at discounted prices.
Brazil is spending millions of dollars building and upgrading highways, airports and stadiums for the event.
But critics, including former football great Romario, now a lawmaker, have objected that the projects are too expensive and behind schedule.