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Brazil close to lifting alcohol ban
NPR, March 8th, 2012 7:01PM

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Brazil took a step toward relaxing its strict ban on alcohol at soccer stadiums during the 2014 World Cup. FIFA is pushing for the change so it can make Budweiser the "Official Beer of the FIFA World Cup."

A special committee voted 15-9 to approve the sale of alcoholic beverages during the 2014 World Cup, as well as the 2013 Confederations Cup. The measure now advances in the legislature; it will require a signature from President Dilma Rousseff before it is enacted.

Alcoholic beverages were banned at Brazil's soccer games back in 2003, in a desperate attempt to reduce violence at its stadiums. As a recent report shows, that effort has had only marginal success -- the country led the world in soccer-related deaths from 1998 to 2008, with 42 fatalities reported.

"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," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said in January.

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