27 Oct 2011

FIFA to allow half price tickets for elderly

8:00 am on 27 October 2011

The FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says football's governing body will allow Brazilians over 65 to attend World Cup matches for half price at the 2014 finals, clearing one obstacle to an agreement with Brazil's government over rules for the event.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff held talks with Valcke during her visit to Europe this month and told him that her government could not agree to FIFA's request for full-price tickets for elderly people.

The right to half-price tickets for people over 65-years-old is enshrined in Brazilian law.

FIFA's request that half-price rights be overruled for the World Cup has sparked a backlash in Brazilian Congress, which must pass the legislation setting financial and legal rules for the global showpiece.

Former Brazilian international Romario, who is now a federal congressman, has said that FIFA must not be allowed to dictate changes to Brazilian law for the event.

Romario and other lawmakers are also calling on the government to stand up for students' rights to half-price tickets, saying it is a matter of Brazilian sovereignty and that FIFA must accept the hit to its profits.

Valcke says he will visit Brazil next week to continue talks on the law and would return in November with FIFA President Sepp Blatter to "finalise everything."