As reported earlier by IOGT, FIFA is pressuring Brazil, the host of the 2014 World Cup, to amend its legal prohibition of alcohol retail in football stadiums. Now it seems that the interests of the alcohol industry might have already been safeguarded for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as Vladimir Putin has promised to consider lifting the recently introduced ban on selling beer in Russian stadiums.

The Russian prime minister voiced his considerations on beer retail in stadiums during the 2018 World Cup at a meeting with football fans. The fans argued against the beer ban, and pointed to the situation in many European countries where there are no prohibitions on sale of alcohol in stadiums. Putin replied that: “One should know his norm — once he’s drunk three liters it’s time to calm down and stop.”

This month saw the introduction of new regulations against alcohol marketing and marketing by beer brewers in particular, as well as a prohibition of beer retail in stadiums. The restrictions have been described as measures to tackle the pandemic Russian alcohol abuse. For instance, more than half of all deaths among people aged 15 to 54 are caused by alcohol, according to the international medical journal The Lancet. Now that the 2018 World Cup, with its economically powerful alcohol industry sponsors, is looming on the horizon, the question rises whether the Russian government will remain strong in their fight against alcohol abuse or cave in to the pressure and money of the alcohol industry.

Source: 01/20/12

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