Monday, January 23, 2012

The Quotable FIFA

Excited about the World Cup in 2014? Don't get your tickets quite yet.

It shouldn't be a big surprise that Brazil is not ready for the World Cup. According to the AP on, the FIFA secretary general, Jerome Valke, is on record stating that not only are there no stadiums ready, but that Brazil also needs to change their laws to accommodate the World Cup. You see, Brazilian soccer fans get kind of violent, so a few years ago, lawmakers decided to just ban beer sales at stadiums. We experienced this first-hand at Mr. Bugigangas' first soccer game a few months ago. It's weird, seeing all the vendors selling sodas, water and alcohol-free beer, but it does seem to cut down on hooliganism. However, when Budweiser is a main sponsor for your event, banning alcohol is not the best of ideas. Imagine that.

So FIFA's applying pressure to get their way. Maybe they should have done just a teensy bit more research ahead of time? In any case, Valke gets points for making the most quotable ridiculous statement of the week: "We're not talking about alcohol, we're talking about beer." Well, glad that's been sorted out!

In addition, it seems FIFA's not happy that the elderly and students get half price tickets to any event in the country...and they're not so keen on another idea that's being batted around: free World Cup tickets in exchange for voluntarily turning in guns, registered or unregistered, to the government. You know, because everyone who paid hard cash for their tickets is going to be so happy to be sitting next to a teenage drug dealer who turned in his old gun for a seat...

I don't think it's something to worry about much, though, as Valke, who seems to have lost his politically correct filter, is quoted by GloboEsporte as saying, "I'm not going to say that we'll trade all the guns for tickets, because I think there are so many guns in Brazil that we're not going to have enough tickets." (My translation)

That's so reassuring.

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