On June 5, 2012 the Brazil President
Dilma Roussef signed into law the World Cup bill providing for a
set of rules that regulates the Brazil's staging the 2014 FIFA
World Cup and gives FIFA guarantees on the organization of the
After months of discussions that
basically focused on the sale of alcoholic beverages inside
stadiums and half-price tickets, the long-running process to
formalize the law regulating the hosting of the event by the
country took its first significant step forward in March after the
House of Representatives passed it.
The main sticking point in approving
the World Cup bill had been the permission for alcohol sale at
stadiums. Brazil currently prohibits consumption of alcohol at
sports events in stadiums; however, due to a prior commitment
between the Brazilian government and FIFA, the Brazilian President
lifted the federal law provision that bans alcohol sale at sports
events in stadiums, and therefore, opening the way for sale of
alcohol at World Cup matches. The World Cup Law (Law 12,663/2012)
does not specifically allow alcoholic beverages sales in stadiums
during tournament, which will in theory require that FIFA negotiate
with a few states whose local laws currently ban alcohol sale
inside stadiums during sports events. Several out of the 12
Brazilian states hosting the World Cup matches have laws that
currently prohibit alcohol in stadiums.
Another controversial issue was the
provisions dealing with the Federal Government liability for any
safety problem. The new law establishes that the Federal Government
shall assume civil liability to FIFA for any damages arising or
having arisen from any safety-related incident or accident in
connection with the tournament.
The World Cup Law also addresses
rules protecting commercial rights by creating commercial
restriction areas in the surroundings of the tournament venues,
including stadiums, training centers, media centers, accreditation
centers, parking areas, among others, where FIFA and its partners
will have exclusive right to advertise, distribute and sell their
products and services, in addition to carrying out other
promotional activities. For this purpose, the law delegates to
local authorities the responsibility to establish the limits of
such commercial restriction areas, provided that such limit will
not exceed the maximum range of 2 km around competition
Furthermore, the World Cup Law faces
a quite sensitive issue concerning territorial delimitation and
control over advertising that could spark a discussion on freedom
of expression and free competition on the part of companies that
are not official sponsors. Such delimitation could in some
circumstances be challenged if it represents an infringement of
third parties' vested constitutional rights. Accordingly, the
Brazilian lawmaker gave reasonable protection to business
operations organized lawfully and prior and unrelated to the event
by setting forth that "the exclusive area boundaries shall
not affect the regular activities of business ventures already
operating, provided the latter is not associated in any way with
The World Cup Law also imposes a set
of rules granting special protection to the industrial property
rights held by FIFA and its partners. Among the introduced
measures, special emphasis will be given to the criminalization of
practices related to ambush marketing by association and ambush
marketing by intrusion.
Ambush marketing practices are
common in large events such as the World Cup; therefore, FIFA has a
history in adopting global measures to fight ambush marketing and
is already concerned in banning non-sponsoring associations from
the matches in Brazil.
In this regard, the law provides for
severe penalties for ambush marketing practices, i.e. the adoption
of commercial and advertising maneuvers associating the name, brand
and/or other distinctive signs of the event to entities that have
not acquired sponsorship quotas and the display of brand, product,
services, establishment or the performance of promotional activity
within the tournament venues by persons or entities not authorized
by FIFA or its commercial partners.
Furthermore, the law provides for
special trademark protection rules for FIFA, among which: record
with the INPI (the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office) of high
reputation registers of the trademarks consisting of FIFA's
official symbols, emblems, mascots and other symbols indicated by
FIFA; the record with INPI registers of well-known trademarks held
by FIFA; adoption by INPI of a special regime for procedures
related to applications for trademark registration filed by or
relating to FIFA.
Further to the aforementioned
points, the law also sets rules on civil penalties, broadcasting
rights, sales of tickets, entry visas and work permits, among
Authors: Tatiana Campello Lopes
- partner at the law firm Demarest e Almeida Advogados and
Guilherme Cacciari Veloni - associate at the law firm Demarest e
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