On International Children’s Day, a global coalition of NGOs covering all parts of the world and different sectors, comes out with big hugs for children worldwide and with a fundamental message for the global community:
“Putting back alcohol into the stadiums is not supporting children to follow the messages of role models like Cristiano Ronaldo,” says Sven-Olov Carlsson, President of IOGT International.
“Therefore we support the Brazilian President, the parliament and government in putting Fifa back on track towards living up to common goals and virtues. And that is why this global, heart-driven coalition supports decision-makers to stand up for Human Rights and the Best Interest of children.”
During the last couple of months a political struggle has unfolded between Fifa and Brazilian decision-makers about the so called “World Cup Law” and the question whether alcohol should be re-introduced into the stadiums of the 2014 football world cup.
In 2003, Brazil had put in place a law to keep football stadiums alcohol free, in order to prevent violence in and around football matches. These measures go along with scientific evidence from, among others, a WHO study, which included Brazil, showing that ca. 46% of violent incidents seen in emergency rooms are related to alcohol use.
Nevertheless Fifa Secretary-General Mr. Valcke claims: “Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate.”
In recent developments the Brazilian parliament has passed the World Cup Law, effectively paving the way for alcohol re-entering stadiums.
President Dilma Rousseff now has to decide whether to sign the bill into law, or not. She will have to consider that Brazil signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1990, and the Brazilian parliament ratified it in November the same year, fully incorporating it into Brazilian law.
“We support the Brazilian government and parliament – like all other decision-makers – and especially the Brazilian President Mrs. Rousseff now in giving meaning to their own promise to protect children and to give primary consideration to the Best Interest of children when deciding about policies,” says Prof. Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky, President of the Brazilian Humanitarians in Action.
Article 3.1 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child states: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
In video messages Fifa President Blatter says that “it’s all about children. They’re football’s future. They are our world’s future. We want children to play football and therefore have fun and enjoy a healthy activity.”
To support this message Cristiano Ronaldo – the world’s best football player 2008 – says in a video message for the Fifa “11 for health”: “Forwards make the right moves on the pitch to avoid defenders. Make the right moves off the pitch to avoid drugs and alcohol.”
“How is forcing alcohol back into football stadiums true to those messages? Every person in the world knows that there are more important things than money and profit,” says Sven-Olov Carlsson, President of IOGT International.
“This truth is easiest to see when looking into the eyes of children, into a child’s smile when enjoying the game of football, for example – full of hope, happiness and dreams. Children’s Day is about cherishing this and taking as good actions as possible to endow it with meaning.”