FIFA's Valcke to visit Brazil next week for talks
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, who last month caused uproar with his outspoken criticism of Brazil's 2014 World Cup preparations, is to visit the country next week, it was reported Tuesday.
Valcke will meet officials from the Brazilian Senate and Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo on April 11 for talks on the bill regulating the World Cup, notably the sale of alcohol in stadiums, Globo television said.
The bill regulating the beautiful game's quadrennial extravaganza received near unanimous support in Brazil's House of Deputies last week, paving the way for beer to be sold in plastic cups inside the venues.
Sales of alcoholic beverages in sports arenas have been banned in Brazil since 2003 but the World Cup bill will create an exception that had been demanded by world governing body FIFA.
The bill, which still has to be endorsed by the Senate before being ratified by President Dilma Rousseff, will also allow beer to be sold in stadiums during the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Valcke's visit to Brazil comes after he overtly criticised World Cup organisers for delays in stadium construction work, as well as in work to improve infrastructure in the country ahead of the tournament.
Sports minister Rebelo has insisted the matter is now over after Valcke apologised for suggesting that organisers needed a "kick up the backside".
Rebelo had responded to those comments by saying Valcke would no longer be welcome as a FIFA spokesman.
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