FIFA has a problem with the 2014 World Cup. No, not pretending the favelas of Rio don’t exist, though we imagine it’ll try its hardest. No, this problem has to do with…beer. Or lack of beer, more accurately. Brazil’s soccer stadiums haven’t sold it since 2003. The intentions – to reduce fan violence – were admirable, but FIFA wants – nay, needs – to see this change before the action kicks off. (As BBC points out, “Brewer Budweiser is a big FIFA sponsor,” after all.) And so FIFA’s taken on the ulikely-seeming role of pro-beer lobbyist:
FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said the right to sell beer must be enshrined in a World Cup law the Brazilian Congress is considering.
That’s right: a beer law. And Valcke’s not resting until it happens:
“Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate.”
It’s fine, Jerome – we get very passionate about our beer, too. We’re putting aside for a second that we don’t even know if the pro-beer stance is even a good idea (fans at the World Cup will be so fired up that confrontations are inevitable anyway, but alcohol can only inflame things). We’re putting aside FIFA’s reputation as a cesspool of corruption. And we’re putting aside our inherent skittishness about lobbyists (again, FIFA seems to be acting as an especially heavy-handed one in this case) and their influence.
Yes, we’re ignoring all that for now because…being a pro-beer lobbyist? If we’re going to be any kind of lobbyist, that’s probably what we’re choosing. In fact…hmm, is there any way to make it sound less sinister? Maybe…activist. Yes, beer activist. That sounds right up our alley. Why, we practically want to jump out of this chair and contribute to the cause right now. We generally like to see all sides of an issue, but beer? You stand strong on this one, FIFA, because there will be beer. On this issue, we’ve got your back. And then, we remember that line from before:
Brewer Budweiser is a big FIFA sponsor.
So we’d be lobbying for…Budweiser, basically. On second thought: hold your ground, Brazil.