EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

IOGT International calls out FIFA: stop bullying and insulting Brazil

6 March 2012

IOGT International calls out FIFA: stop bullying and insulting Brazil IOGT International, today spread a press release condemning the world’s football governing body, FIFA, as doing the dirty work for the alcohol industry. Additionally IOGT makes the case that FIFA ignores scientific evidence and social needs, while also bullying and insulting Brazilians.

Today, a special committee of the General Chamber of Delegates of the Brazilian parliament is going to vote on the so called “World Cup Law” (“Lei Geral da Copa”), a key bill to regulate the Football World Cup 2014. According to the press release, the relations of FIFA with the Brazilian government and other public figures of society have completely broken down, as FIFA continues to bully and insult Brazilians. FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke was quoted last Friday: “We should have received these documents signed by 2007 and we are in 2012. You have to push yourself, get a kick up the backside and just deliver this World Cup.”

The Brazilian government reacted to this vulgar statement through the Sports Minister who on Monday delivered a letter to FIFA demanding Mr. Valcke’s removal. “In the light of these statements, which are unacceptable comments for any type of relationship, the Brazilian government no longer accepts Secretary-General Valcke as an interlocutor.”

IOGT points out that it’s public knowledge that FIFA has had problems with corruption, and living up to democratic values. The press release says that to pressure and insult a democratically elected government and attempt to alter policies put in place to protect Brazilian people, tops the list of FIFA’s failures.

In an effort to reduce alcohol-related violence and protect public health and social development, Brazilian football stadiums have been kept free from alcohol sales since 2003. These measures go along with scientific evidence from, among others, a WHO study, which included Brazil, showing that ca. 46% of violent incidents seen in emergency rooms are related to alcohol use.

Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director/CEO of Alcohol Justice, the US alcohol industry watchdog, had the following comment: “Congratulations to the Brazilian government for thoughtfully considering whether public safety and national sovereignty is more important than dancing to the beat of FIFA. FIFA needs to back off on doing the dirty work for the alcohol industry to get back into the stadiums of Brazil.”

The problem for FIFA is that World Cup hosts Brazil, Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) all have bans on alcohol sales to protect society, especially children and families. But FIFA even speaks of a “right to sell beer”. The press release explains that IOGT International believes that FIFA totally ignores a country’s needs, and what’s best for children and youth. They also question whose interest is FIFA giving primary consideration to? The interests of the Brazilian Government and society? Or the interests of Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the biggest sponsors of the World Cup?

Source: IOGT.org 03/06/12

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