2014 World Cup Match: FIFA-1, Brazil-?

Rebecca Burns

February 13, 2012

What is the name of a soccer-loving Swiss nonprofit that demands tax exemptions and concessions on workers’ rights wherever it goes?

The answer, as Brazil is discovering as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup, is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) – an organization that faces a long list of corruption charges and presents an even longer list of demands for countries hosting the world’s premier sporting event. (FIFA’s status as a charity dates back to its days as a small voluntary organization.)

 

Brazilians watch a stadium for the FIFA World Cup 2014 being constructed in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso State, on January 29. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images)

The Brazilian Congress is being pressured by FIFA to pass a “General World Cup Law” that would alter existing national law in a number of areas the world football body considers key to its interests – including stricter copyright protection and enforcement, ownership of all event-related images and broadcast rights and a reversal of current policy of providing half-price soccer match tickets to students and seniors.

FIFA has scolded Brazil for failing to pass the law sooner. In December 2011, Secretary General Jerome Valcke promised at a press conference following a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee that the law would be approved by a commission considering it within the Brazilian Congress. But lawmakers decided to delay the vote, asserting that there were still too many problems with the bill and that they had only received the most recent changes to it – including language that would make Brazil broadly responsible for security incidents during the event – hours before a scheduled vote in December. They will likely consider the bill again in February.

Countries submitting bids to host the World Cup must agree to eight conditions – including tax exemption, exclusive commercial rights and visa waivers for FIFA affiliates. In October 2011, Brazilian legislators passed a law granting a comprehensive four-year tax exemption to the soccer body, its member associations and its partners – including Coca-Cola, VISA and Adidas.

Among the most controversial changes proposed by the World Cup law is a provision permitting the establishment of special courts that could try crimes such as the selling of pirated material. Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes has said that accepting FIFA’s demands and allowing the creation of separate courts would amount to issuing Brazil a “certificate of banana republic.”

The proposed law would also create exceptions to existing intellectual property law to allow FIFA to trademark anything that it considers an “official symbol” and create new categories of crimes – among them, “undue utilization of official symbols.” Trademarks registered by FIFA during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa included “World Cup 2010,” “South Africa 2010” and even “2010.” According to the Peoples’ Cup Committees (PCC), a group of activists from Brazil’s 12 World Cup host cities who oppose the bill, FIFA has already applied for more than 1,000 such trademarks in Brazil.

FIFA insists that the Brazilian government has already agreed to the conditions contained in the World Cup law, but PCC activists contend that the concessions required by FIFA were never made public. An agreement between the Brazilian executive branch and FIFA “does not have the ability to require legal changes,” a PCC representative says.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa resulted in a record $3 billion in income for the organization, $100 million of which it contributed to development projects in the country. At the end of 2010, FIFA had $1.2 billion in reserve.

Meanwhile, the South African Government spent $4.3 billion preparing for the games while attracting an estimated $1.1 billion in tourism spending – an outcome that contradicts the Brazilian government’s claim that the Cup will provide an economic boost.

According to StreetNet International, a group that organizes street vendors, as many as 100,000 informal traders lost their livelihoods in South Africa due to laws prohibiting them from selling merchandise in the vicinity of the stadiums. Such “exclusion zones” are also included in Brazil’s proposed World Cup Law, and StreetNet and local labor organizations are calling for amendments that guarantee street vendors’ right to operate in the municipalities where they are registered. The imposition of anti-labor provisions in the run-up to the World Cup, says Maira Vannuchi, a team member of StreetNet Brazil, “shows that the federal government is more concerned with having an image as a big emerging country than with the welfare of the citizens.”

Source: In These Times

33 Responses to “2014 World Cup Match: FIFA-1, Brazil-?”

  1. Adilson says:
    O meu problema é um dos mais importantes na vida de um cidadão, é a
    aquisição de um imóvel. No ano de 2010 tive que sair da área da região dos
    Pimentas pq segundo o CDHU a área era deles. Recebemos como indenização,
    uma carta de credito no valor de 100.000,00 (que hoje já não é mais esse
    valor) para compra de um imóvel. Você sabe que achar uma casa com toda a
    documentação nesse valor é quase impossível. Mas no ano passado no mês de
    outubro consegui um imóvel. Foi aí que começou os meus problemas. Depois da
    parte burocrática da documentação, veio o descaso por parte do CDHU. No dia
    5 de janeiro (depois de tantos vai e volta de documentos que sai por volta
    de 700,00) foi aprovado o imóvel. O CDHU pediu um prazo de 20 dias para
    assinar o contrato, mas não esta sendo bem assim. No inicio de fevereiro o
    funcionário Otavio pediu para o Corretor do imóvel a atualização do saldo
    devedor junto com a Caixa Econômica para o dia 7/02/2012 que seria a data
    da assinatura do contrato. Quando foi a semana passada disse ao corretor
    que a Diretoria iria mudar e por isso teria que mudar para 15/02/2012. Hoje
    no dia 14/02/2012 já entraram em contato com o corretor dizendo que é para
    fazer a atualização no dia 29/02/2012. O corretor reclamou porque ele tem
    que ir junto a Caixa para atualizar o saldo devedor do imóvel toda vez que
    eles mudam a data. O funcionário Hamilton, disse que não pode fazer nada. O
    que da para perceber além de fazer de tudo para desistirmos, eles empurram
    a situação pq a cada 6 meses a carta de credito é atualizada e o valor
    diminui, sendo que os imóveis aumentam.
    Por favor peço que me ajude a agilizar o contrato do meu imóvel junto ao
    CDHU. O CDHU esta com muito descaso e o dono do imóvel já ameaçou varias
    vezes, desistir da venda por causa da valorização imobiliária. Fico no
    aguardo da sua resposta. Obrigado

    Venho através desta mensagem para implorar que possa divulgar o descaso do CDHU com as pessoas que receberam cartas de credito para que compra-se uma moradia pois o local que as pessoas moravam foi determinado por ordem judicial. Achamos a casa no valor da carta de credito só que o CDHU está enrolando para concluir já faz 6 meses que estamos nesta situação sendo cobrado pela a pessoa que esta vendendo e pela dona da casa que moramos de aluguel. O CDHU só agilizou em tirar as famílias do local e agora não cumpre com sua parte.

    Adilson
    011 24844194

Leave a Reply

*