FIFA Outrages Local World Cup Vendors

FIFA, or the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, has outraged many Brazilians with an exclusionary rule during the World Cup 2014.

According to Aljazeera, the governing body of all things World Cup has decided to only allow official vendors or people authorized by FIFA to sell merchandise around venues being used for the tournament.

The exclusionary rule shuts down a lot of potential revenue streams for unofficial merchandisers, and it’s got many in Rio de Janeiro crying foul.

From the Aljazeera report:

… [a protest group] spoke of human rights abuses ahead of Brazil’s World Cup. Vendors could sell any type of drink and food without corporate authorisation or special licenses. Fans could wear unofficial logos on shirts, and protesters – in this case a group of pharmacists – were free to demonstrate and pass out political brochures.

Around the match stadiums, none of those activities are permitted by law during the mega event.

FIFA often works with host venues to pass event-specific legislation. The World Cup General Law, passed in 2012, “dictated security, ticket sales, visa procedures, state liability, labour regulations, infrastructure, and commercial space,” the news site reported.

Soccer’s largest governing body also convinced the Brazilian government to “remove a safety ban on alcohol sales inside stadiums to make room for Budweiser, a World Cup sponsor.”

“We are not against football,” said Giselle Tanaka of Comite Popular, a FIFA protester. “We are against FIFA’s World Cup. We are against all the corporations that are related to FIFA that are here without paying any taxes, promoting violations of human rights.”

The so-called “area of exclusivity” that has so many angry is a demarcated area up to 2 kilometers around stadiums and official FIFA fan fests, the site noted.

“What this meant to Cape Town [South Africa, the 2010 World Cup venue], where a large percentage of the population are reliant on income through informal economies, was a huge loss of income and livelihoods, through wholesale discriminatory practices,” Killian Doherty, an architect working in areas of conflict, told the site.

This isn’t the only event that has resulted in outrage at FIFA thus far. A few days ago, a 151-foot hot-air Jesus ascended, causing the largely Catholic population to protest. (Hat tip, Christian Post.)

It seems that while nations beg for the opportunity to host a FIFA World Cup, there is always someone who doesn’t want it, even in a nation like Brazil, where the soccer fan base is downright fanatical.

Do you think the protesters have a point with regard to the exclusionary rule established by FIFA? Sound off in our comments section.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]

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