Brazil, FIFA to meet on legal dispute
Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff plans to meet the president of soccer`s world governing body on Monday to resolve a legal dispute over the 2014 World Cup, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported.
FIFA has asked Brazil to suspend several laws while it hosts the World Cup, including one that requires theatrical and sports events to provide half-price tickets to people over 65, the paper reported on Saturday.
The laws, FIFA says, threaten to increase the governing body`s costs, reduce its ability to protect its brands and sponsors` trademarks and to saddle FIFA with other legal liabilities, Estado said, citing Orlando Silva, Brazil`s sports minister.
Rousseff plans to meet FIFA President Joseph Blatter in Brussels on Monday and is ready to compromise on a series of FIFA complaints, Silva told the newspaper.
They include some prohibitions on alcohol sales and rules that grant low-cost tickets to students and youth, the newspaper said. She won`t suspend the Elderly Persons` Statute or consumer protection laws, it reported.
Rousseff`s office would not confirm or deny a meeting. Brazil`s sports ministry and FIFA`s media department did not return phone calls Saturday.
FIFA`s complaints come after criticism of delays in the construction or repair of stadiums and the expansion of public transport facilities for the World Cup. Allegations have also been rising about cost overruns and corruption related to the World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
FIFA 2014 World Cup sponsors include Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony, Anheuser-Busch InBev`s Budweiser unit and McDonald`s and Visa.
The World Cup Bill being debated in Congress, for example, fails to provide sufficient penalties to companies and individuals who sell pirate goods or infringe trademarks, it said, citing Silva.
The penalties are three months to two years in jail or a fine, which FIFA considers "innocuous," Estado reported.