Brazilian president sanctions 2014 World Cup law

TALES AZZONI
June 6, 2012
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff speaks during a ceremony marking World Environment Day and the launching of the Rio + 20 conference on sustainable development at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Rio is hosting the conference on sustainable development while environmentalists protest the government's plan to build a massive dam in the Amazon that they say will devastate wildlife and the livelihoods of thousands of people who live in the area to be flooded. The government says it will be a source of clean, renewable energy, and that it will help fuel the country's economy. The dam would be the world's third largest if completed. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned a contentious bill giving FIFA the required guarantees to organize the 2014 World Cup on Wednesday, but one of her vetoes will force football's governing body to negotiate the sale of discounted tickets with the states and cities.

Rousseff approved the sale of alcoholic beverages inside stadiums, the most contentious issue because such sales have been illegal in Brazil but were demanded by FIFA.

One of Rousseff's five vetoes related to 300,000 cheaper tickets being made available for students, the elderly and the poor. The veto allows discounted tickets to be sold in all categories, so FIFA will have to negotiate with local governments. In the original plan, the elderly were already allowed to buy half-priced tickets in all categories.

The Justice Ministry suggested the veto because the original text could go against the country's constitution, something Rousseff described as a "violation" of the federal pact with local governments.

FIFA will also have to negotiate the sale of alcohol inside stadiums with the provincial governments because the current laws in some states were not affected by the new legislation.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has said that FIFA's need to deal with local governments shouldn't be considered a problem since the states and cities signed agreements with the governing body and promised to abide by its demands when Brazil was picked as host in 2007.

Rebelo said Wednesday the federal government will work with FIFA to make sure all requirements are met.

"In our agreement with FIFA we assured the entity that the government would act to unify the legislation in cases where there were incompatibilities with the states and cities," he said.

The other vetoes by Rousseff included minor changes made to how visas are issued to foreign visitors, and to regulations affecting volunteer work during the World Cup. She also vetoed legislation that said 10 percent of the tickets for matches being played by the Brazilian national team would have to be made available in the cheapest category, citing operational difficulties because it's unknown where or when the team would play in the second round.

Congress now has 30 days to analyze the vetoes before the law can go into effect.

FIFA wanted the law in place earlier this year but the controversy over the sale of alcohol inside stadiums stirred a heated debate in the Brazilian Congress, with critics saying Brazil was giving FIFA too much power and bowing to its demands.

The bill was approved by the lower house in March and by the senate in May.

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