Brazilian president OKs 2014 World Cup guarantees

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed into law a contentious bill giving FIFA the required guarantees to organize the 2014 World Cup on Wednesday, but one of her vetoes will force soccer’s governing body to negotiate the sale of discounted tickets with the states and cities.

Rousseff approved the sale of alcoholic beverages inside stadiums, the most contentious issue because such sales have been illegal in Brazil. It was a demand by FIFA because Budweiser is a major sponsor.

One of the five vetoes related to only 300,000 half-priced tickets available for students and the elderly. The veto will ensure discounted tickets are sold in all ticket categories, meaning FIFA will have to negotiate with local governments at avoid it.

The Justice Ministry suggested the veto because it could go against the country’s constitution, which Rousseff described as a “violation” of the federal pact with local governments.

FIFA also will have to negotiate the sale of alcohol inside stadiums with some states.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has said that FIFA’s need to deal with local governments shouldn’t be considered a problem since the states and cities signed agreements with the governing body and promised to abide by its demands when Brazil was picked as host in 2007.

Rebelo said the federal government will work with FIFA to make sure all requirements are met.

The other vetoes by Rousseff included minor changes made to how visas are issued to foreign visitors, and to regulations affecting volunteer work during the World Cup. She also vetoed legislation that said 10 percent of the tickets for matches played by the Brazilian national team would need to be available in the cheapest category, citing operational difficulties.

FIFA wanted the bill to go into effect earlier this year but the controversy over the sale of alcohol inside stadiums stirred debate in the Brazilian Congress. It was approved by the lower house in March and by the senate in May.

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