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Dirty Tackle

FIFA exec somehow 'amazed' by level of drunkenness in World Cup stadiums

Dirty Tackle
Brazil v Germany: Semi Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JULY 08: Brazil fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to kickoff during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

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One of the sticking points that FIFA demanded Brazil give in on in order to host the 2014 World Cup was overturning the country's 2003 ban on alcohol sales in stadiums. This was instituted to help reduce stadium violence, but FIFA didn't much care about that since Budweiser is one of the tournament's biggest sponsors. So, Brazil gave in and let FIFA sell overpriced beer at World Cup venues and now FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke can't believe how drunk people are getting at matches.

From the AP:

In an interview with Brazil's sports television network SporTV, Jerome Valcke acknowledged Tuesday that ''maybe there were too many people who were drunk'' at the matches and pointed to the connection between inebriation and violence. [...]
Valcke stressed that in-stadium beer sales have never been a problem in previous World Cups.
''I was amazed by the number of people who were drunken and the level of alcohol'' in Brazil, he said, adding ''I was a bit surprised.''

Well maybe that has something to do with a decade-old alcohol ban in stadiums suddenly being lifted, Jerry. It's just a thought, but maybe Brazil put that ban in place for a reason and eliminating it just for this tournament has sent the wrong message to people. 

[Related: Human wall Tim Howard sets World Cup record in U.S. loss to Belgium]

Valcke added that FIFA will control alcohol sales if necessary, but since that won't help Budweiser get its maximum return on investment that probably won't happen.

[Photos: The wackiest fans of the World Cup]

Even if alcohol sales are to blame for an instance of large scale violence at a World Cup match, it's unlikely FIFA would accept blame. Amidst the protests against the government and FIFA across Brazil that began last summer, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said "FIFA cannot be held responsible" for social problems in the host nation. So that's convenient. 

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