Brazil Wants to Stop Alcohol Sales at World Cup 2014

So what’s all this hoopla regarding FIFA and Brazil the past few days? Well there are several issues regarding stadium construction, airports and transportation issues. However, political and local laws have been another major issue. Brazil has had a very hard time approving regulatory laws regarding World Cup 2014.

Laws like ticket prices, school hours during the event, senior citizen ticket prices and many others laws have proven difficult for Brazil to come to an internal agreement. This has hence delayed progress and angered some FIFA officials. Believe it or not, the selling of alcoholic beverages is at the center of this spectacle.

The top headlines today in Brazil was the fact that stadiums and establishments will be allowed to sell beer or alcoholic beverages during the World Cup 2014. Let the party begin, but wait, why would Brazil want to STOP beer sales?

Many of you may be thinking, “What the heck, no beer at party central Brazil? That makes no sense?” Well, let me explain this phenomenon, which has irritated FIFA’s Secretary General Jerome Valcke and caused a media frenzy surrounding World Cup Brazil 2014.

Multiple Brazilian Soccer Gangs
For me to explain why this seemingly ridiculous law is such a big issue in Brazil, I must first explain why so many states in Brazil do not sell alcoholic beverages in or near the stadiums.

In Brazil the professional soccer clubs have “Organized Fan Clubs,” (torcidas organizadas). These organized fan clubs more a less have become a double-edged sword for professional teams. The Fan Clubs literally support teams financially by reselling tickets, supporting the team, and moving large amounts of people into the stadiums. The Fan Clubs have also pushed themselves into becoming somewhat influential in political matters of teams, especially when firing a coach or player. (There is much more I can write about Fan Clubs, but now is not the time)

These Fan Clubs are essentially hooligans or gangs to a certain degree. There are always good and bad members to every group don’t get me wrong. However, the bad apples ruin the bunch, and it is no difference in this situation. Sadly the fighting, violence and deaths during games spawned government agencies to intervene and impose laws.

Brazil is a Democracy (similar to the United States) so government can NOT pass a law banning group of assembly or a group walking down the street. Therefore, government agencies decided to stop the selling of alcohol at or near stadiums to possibly halt inebriated actions by large groups of people.

These laws along with more police patrols during games helped lower the violence rate.

So the big issue halting the approval of ALL regulatory laws of World Cup Brazil 2014 was alcohol sales. The selling of beer during World Cup Brazil 2014 was under review because Brazilian Clubs are intertwined with Fan Clubs (Gangs) and are unable to police the crowds correctly during the Brazilian League Games.

Brazilian hooligans Fighting

So because Brazil can’t police their gangs we can’t drink beer at stadiums?
For me this is quintessential Brazilian politics of unorganized – organization. They become so unorganized, like not policing stadiums to the full extent or by allowing gangs to “practically” run clubs, that government enacts an organized law (no selling beer at stadiums) to subdue the problem. Yes, not selling beer helped lower violence, but the problem isn’t beer. Do you get me!

Can you believe that we came this close to not having beer at stadiums during World Cup Brazil 2014?

Anyways, FIFA demanded Brazil sell alcohol during World Cup Brazil 2014, and it was approved.



Check out my TOP six beers to drink while visiting Brazil!







*Sources: Célio Messias/AE, from

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Roberto Avey

Roberto Avey is an ex-soccer player from Brazil. Club, Associação Atlética Ponte Preta in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 1995-1998 under coach, Francisco da Silva Júnior “Chiquinho." He has since graduated from Midwestern State University in Texas, with a bachelor degree in journalism and helps coach teams in Southern California. Read more

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