'Last Week Tonight' rant highlights FIFA pressuring Brazil to bend laws for 2014 World Cup
Jun 13, 2014 02:55 PM EDT
In the June 8 episode of John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" on HBO, the comedian sarcastically discussed how world soccer organization FIFA was able to pressure this year's host country Brazil into reworking their decades-old laws to accommodate its sponsors.
Politifact.com said that FIFA's political influence has nothing to do with the officials who are currently serving in the global soccer body. Considering the fact that the World Cup comes every four years, the tournament does not only draw interest from fans around the world rooting for their favorite teams to win the coveted golden trophy and prestige to being the world's finest soccer team, but financial interest as well for businesses, and even the countries who are plagued with third-world problems.
According to Oliver in the show, the Brazilian government has allotted over $11 billion on infrastructure upgrades and stadiums to get ready for the World Cup. One of the projects that Brazil has spent on is the 42,000-capacity stadium in Manaus, a city within the Amazon rainforest. Aside from public outcry over the government over building the massive facility insider a protected area, Oliver said that Brazilians are not happy the government decided to spend $300 million on the stadium that will only be used to host four of the total World Cup matches.
"Okay, that does seem like a waste of money, especially when you consider that that stadium is only going to be used for four World Cup games. There's also no team in Manaus that can fill it afterwards, at which point it becomes the world's most expensive bird toilet," Oliver said.
Oliver also tackled the issue of the Budweiser bill, dubbed so after one of the major sponsors of the World Cup. Politifact said that in 2003, the Brazilian government had passed a law that banned the sale of alcohol at stadiums to curb deaths and violence at soccer matches. Oliver said that the law has been amended in order to please Budweiser, who is known for its beer.
"The amazing thing is here FIFA won. They successfully pressured Brazil into passing a so-called Budweiser bill, allowing beer sales in soccer stadiums. And at this point you can either be horrified by that or relieved that FIFA was not also sponsored by cocaine and chainsaws," he said.
Oliver's statement is pertaining to a 2012 law signed by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, which allows the country to temporarily life the ban during the World Cup tournament as per FIFA's demand.
Given the fact that FIFA prides itself to be a benevolent organization with bylaws that seemed to favor its sponsors more than the host countries, tourism is not really much of a great benefit to host the World Cup, isn't it?