Football - Valcke suggests parliamentary approval for World Cups

Countries hoping to stage the World Cup finals should first obtain parliamentary approval in light of the difficulties FIFA has experienced with Brazil's authorities, general secretary Jerome Valcke said on Wednesday.

Reuters

Valcke told reporters he was expressing a personal opinion which had not yet been discussed with the president of the world governing body Sepp Blatter.

But he said it was a lesson he has learned during the complicated organisation of the 2014 tournament in Brazil during which FIFA has often found itself in opposition to the Brazilian government.

The Brazilian government and FIFA were at loggerheads over several issues such as the sale of beer at stadiums, which is banned in Brazil but was a commitment the country conceded to FIFA whose sponsors include a major brewery.

FIFA was also targeted in mass anti-government protests across the country's major cities during the Confederations Cup in June over the huge costs of staging next year's tournament.

"Before Brazil's proposal (to stage the finals) was sent to FIFA, they could have voted (on it) in congress and that might be done in the future," Valcke told reporters.

"It would be national support rather than just a bid sent by a federation with government guarantees.

"You would have at least the official approval from a majority of the political parties which are the representatives of the country's population."

Valcke added that if such a method was introduced it would only come into effect for the 2026 tournament since Russia has already been awarded the 2018 finals and Qatar those in 2022.

Brazil, through the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), was chosen to organise the 2014 finals in 2007 when it was South America's sole candidate at a time when the tournament was rotated around FIFA's continental confederations, a system that has ended.

Valcke said he did not believe there was a lack of popular support for the tournament and that the protesters in June had used the Confederations Cup, a World Cup dress rehearsal, as a platform for their demonstrations.

He said record numbers of fans attending Confederations Cup matches was evidence of such support.

"Brazil loves football and support football," Valcke said.

"If I'm asked if there will be protests, I think there will. What I do know is that the World Cup is a platform for demonstrations, but the majority of Brazilians will gather at the fan fests and public exhibition events.

"If we have the same success of the Confederations Cup multiplied by what a World Cup represents, it will be a great World Cup."

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