Back in 2003, Brazil outlawed the sale of alcohol at soccer matches due to the threats to public safety that it caused. Surprise, surprise, getting a bunch of soccer fans into one stadium and allowing them to drink a lot of beer leads to things like verbal altercations and fights.

However, with Budweiser being a FIFA sponser, FIFA insisted that the ban be lifted while the World Cup takes place in Brazil. The results have gone predictably awry:

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.

FIFA’s Secretary General Jerome Valcke stated that he was shocked by the amount of alcohol being consumed at the World Cup, presumably because he’s never been to a sports stadium that has sold alcohol before.

“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.”

WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN SURPRISED BY THIS. One, it’s a huge sporting event. Two, you’re mixing nationalism, sports fans and alcohol, a combination that is only slightly less combustible than discussing politics at Thanksgiving dinner. Three, Brazil already told you that this would happen. That’s why they went as far as to enact a law banning alcohol in soccer stadiums in the first place.

You can’t feign ignorance and then posture like you’ll keep this lesson in mind for next time:

“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 organization of a match at risk.”

The real test of FIFA’s willingness to put the interest of public safety over that of their sponsors could be in 2022, when the World Cup is slated to be held in Qatar, a state which has a ban on the consumption of alcohol.  I’m not holding my breath on a FIFA change of heart anytime soon though.