Brazil to give free tickets to the poor at World Cup and Olympics


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The Brazilian government will hand out free tickets to the country's poor and indigenous people for the 2014 World Cup finals and expect to do the same for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The host nation has already won concessions from Fifa over allowing students and pensioners half-price tickets but is determined to take that further.

"I'm not going to expect [Fifa to support the proposal], I'm going to make it happen," Aldo Rebelo, Brazil's minister of sport, said yesterday. "This is extremely important, I am a man of the Communist Party. I cannot help organise the largest football party in the world without being concerned with the people who are poor and indigenous in my country."

Tickets for the finals, the first in Brazil since 1950, go on sale next year with Fifa still to determine the pricing. Two years ago in South Africa – where half the population is below the poverty line compared to a quarter of Brazilians – it introduced cut-price £13 tickets to try to make the finals more accessible but ended up losing money on ticket sales. It is anticipated up to 10 per cent of the three million tickets will be available to Brazilians at half price.

"We not only want cheaper tickets we want free tickets as well," Rebelo said yesterday.

"We are going to have free tickets for a representation of the indigenous populations and also for those that receive benefit. These people cannot afford to pay anything and it would be bad for Fifa and Brazil to hold a World Cup with all the very poor people absent."