By Robbie Blakeley, Contributing Sports Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A key article in Brazil’s O Projeto da Lei Geral da Copa (The Proposed Law of the Cup) could see discounts given on World Cup tickets to those who hand over firearms prior to the FIFA World Cup, to be held in Brazil in 2014. The proposal was made by deputy Vicente Cândido, and the idea is currently being considered by FIFA, world football’s governing body.
In addition, the law would also offer discount-price entrance to university students, indigenous Brazilians and those on a minimum salary. Whilst nothing is official yet, it is believed the reduced price tickets would cost around R$46 (roughly US$25).
Outside the meeting in Brasília last week, a group of students waited anxiously for news on the outcome. While they remained quiet throughout the discussion, they occupied a large space outside the building, with the objection of a protest if the deputies had changed their mind on the sale of discount tickets.
The category of cheap tickets will be classed as “Group Four”, with around 300,000 available. Of these, half will be for students, with the rest being divided between those handing over guns, minimum salary workers and indigenous Brazilians.
Senior citizens were cut from those earning rights to cheaper tickets under the new law, but will continue to have the right to half-price entrance under the Estatuto do Idoso (Senior Citizen Statute).
Along with the controversial gun exchange proposal, another change that split the Brazilian government was the laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages. For the duration of the World Cup only, it will be possible to buy beer inside Brazil’s football stadiums.
Cândido has stressed that the sale of alcohol in football (soccer) grounds will only last for the duration of the World Cup. Presently, it is illegal to sell beer, cachaça or any other alcoholic refreshment in a football stadium, and many fans buy cans from street vendors located on the roads surrounding the arena.
For the four weeks of World Cup action, however, they will be available in all areas of stadiums, including the terraces. To minimize the threat of trouble, the drinks will only be served in paper cups.
“The Ministry is doing what they have to do to combat excessive alcohol consumption. But football stadiums is where this happens the least. People go to a football stadium to support their team, not to drink,” Cândido explained.
A piece of good news for Brazil’s street venders is that, under the revised law proposals, they will be able to operate as usual on match days. In South Africa last year, all selling posts around grounds came under FIFA’s administration, and only World Cup related articles could be sold.
It has also been discussed that school students may have their school holidays allocated for the month of the tournament, leaving them free to watch the entire competition. No fixed dates were set however, and each institution has the liberty to decide whether they will give their pupils those four weeks off.