Previous
Everton
Newcastle United
1
0
FT
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Levante
1
3
FT
Game Details
FC Porto
Vitoria Setubal
5
1
FT
Game Details
Genoa
Hellas Verona
3
1
FT
Game Details
Spartak Moscow
Terek Grozny
1
3
FT
Game Details
Independiente
Defensa y Justicia
12:15 AM UTC Apr 24, 2018
Game Details
Sport
Botafogo
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Liverpool
AS Roma
6:45 PM UTC Apr 24, 2018
Leg 1
Game Details
Derby County
Cardiff City
ESPN3 6:45 PM UTC Apr 24, 2018
Game Details
Nottingham Forest
Barnsley
6:45 PM UTC Apr 24, 2018
Game Details
Santos
Estudiantes La Plata
12:30 AM UTC Apr 25, 2018
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Bolívar
12:30 AM UTC Apr 25, 2018
Game Details
Deportivo Lara
Millonarios
10:15 PM UTC Apr 24, 2018
Game Details
Next

Valcke 'amazed' by Cup drunkenness

Fans from all over the globe display their country's colors and passion for the beautiful game.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- FIFA's number two official has said he's "amazed" by the levels of drunkenness in Brazil's World Cup stadiums, reviving a debate over whether alcohol sales should have been allowed at matches in the first place.

In an interview with Brazil's sports television network SporTV, Jerome Valcke acknowledged Tuesday that "maybe there were too many people who were drunk" at the matches and pointed to the connection between inebriation and violence.

Brazil banned alcohol sales at football matches in 2003 in a bid to curb fan violence. But Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor and the tournament's organiser, FIFA, insisted Brazil lift the ban in order to host the month-long event. Lawmakers opposed to lifting the ban delayed the passage of a World Cup law that gave FIFA financial and legal guarantees to organise the event, and the issue became a major source of friction between FIFA and Brazilian officials.

During the protracted debate over the legislation, Valcke stated in 2012 that in-stadium beer sales were a key part of World Cup tradition and that lifting Brazil's ban was non-negotiable.

In Monday's SporTV interview, Valcke appeared to soften his position, saying alcohol sales are "something we have to look at."

"If we think that it is necessary to control [alcohol sales] we will control them," said Valcke, who spoke in English through a Portuguese translator. "We would never put the organisation of a match at risk."

Fan violence has broken out at several matches here, including Saturday's Colombia-Uruguay match in Rio de Janeiro, where stewards had to intervene to separate hostile spectators. Following the match, apparently inebriated Argentine fans celebrating their team's victory over Iran on June 21 caused a dust-up in the central Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.

Valcke stressed that in-stadium beer sales have never been a problem in previous World Cups.

"I was amazed by the number of people who were drunken and the level of alcohol" in Brazil, he said, adding "I was a bit surprised."

The 2022 World Cup is scheduled to be held in Qatar, a Gulf state where alcohol consumption in public is forbidden.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.