July 2, 2014 1:37 pm

FIFA official ‘amazed’ by World Cup fan drunkenness

A U.S. fan spills while chugging a beer before the start of the U.S. match against Belgium at FIFA Fan Fest on Copacabana Beach on July 1, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – 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 Monday that “maybe there was too many people who were drunk” at the matches.

Brazil banned alcohol sales at soccer matches in 2003 in a bid to curb fan violence. But Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor and tournament’s organizer FIFA insisted Brazil lift the ban to host the month-long event.

Lawmakers opposed to lifting the ban delayed the passage of the World Cup law, legislation that gave FIFA financial and legal guarantees to organize the event.

Fans drink beer in front of a beer stand at the Hyundai Fan Park public viewing area named ‘Fan Mile’ in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Tiergarten park after watching the FIFA World Cup 2014 group G football match Germany vs USA on a giant screen on June 26, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.

Carsten Koall/Getty Images

© The Associated Press, 2014

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