SAO PAULO (AP) -A congressional commission has approved a key bill needed for the organization of the 2014 World Cup, giving an important victory to FIFA and the Brazilian government as they try to overcome a recent spat.
FIFA has been urging Brazil to sanction the bill because it sets the tournament's legal and financial framework and gives football's governing body the necessary guarantees to organize the event.
Among the contentious issues approved was the sale of alcohol inside stadiums, a FIFA demand but against the law in Brazil.
The bill still has to go through the lower house and the senate, but the commission's approval had been in doubt after FIFA and the Brazilian government traded accusations about the country's preparations for the World Cup and next year's Confederations Cup.
The vote came just hours after FIFA President Sepp Blatter sent a letter to the Brazilian government apologizing for the remarks of Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who sent a blunt message to Brazil on Friday: "You have to push yourself, kick your (backside)" to speed up the preparations.
Valcke apologized on Monday after Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo officially told FIFA that the government would not deal with him as the person responsible for working with the country to prepare for football's showcase event.
The vote had been delayed several times, one of the reasons that prompted Valcke to step up his criticism of Brazil's preparations. But his attack infuriated some congressmen and gave more ammunition to those saying that Brazil was giving FIFA too much power by approving the bill.
The sticking point was the sale of alcohol inside the World Cup venues, as Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor.
FIFA demanded the law be changed, but critics said it took Brazil a long time to introduce the ban, a move that helped reduce fan violence in Latin America's biggest country.
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