Costa Rican National Assembly Continues to Discuss Possibility of Alcoholic Beverages Sponsorship in Sports

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    The Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (IAFA) reiterated before the deputies of the Social Affairs Commission of the Legislative Assembly its opposition to the possibility of alcoholic beverages sponsoring sports or athletes in Costa Rica.This discussion has been taking place in Congress in recent years without becoming a reality.

    The legislative body is currently discussing file 23,565, called “Law for the creation of the national fund for the financing and promotion of sports, recreation and physical activity in Costa Rica.”The proposal is from the National Liberation deputy, Rosaura Méndez.

    Wrong mix

    “We are looking for something that is positive for people, which is doing sports, but we are mixing two things, such as alcohol, which could be harmful,” said Osvaldo Aguirre, director of IAFA.

    Aguirre considers that the route is to raise taxes on beverages and give the increase to sports.Representative Méndez acknowledged that it could be contradictory, but it is something that is seen in first world countries and in competitions that are broadcast in Costa Rica, such as the Champions League, World Cups and others.

    “My proposal may sometimes be contradictory for me, but it is a medium that I have made visible in other countries and spaces and that if properly regulated could support the sport adequately,” said the politician.

    The Christian socialist Melina Ajoy shares Méndez’s criteria.

    “Sometimes I feel that it is contradictory because we see “muppies”, advertising for alcoholic beverages and there is a hotbed of young people waiting for an opportunity to be sponsored,” she indicated.

    The project

    The proposal, which was introduced in February of the year to the legislative current, details the formation of the fund that will be administered by the Costa Rican Institute of Sports and Recreation (Icoder) and that will be financed from the advertising of brands with alcoholic content.

    Although said fund is created through the sponsorship of drinks with alcoholic content, it is proposed that said fund respond to a use for the benefit of the younger population and children,” the text said.

    “This sponsorship may be used in the brands or names of beverages with alcoholic content, in advertising related to sporting activities and events, sporting articles and implements of any nature, where propaganda, publicity and sponsorship of brands, badges, emblems or names of drinks with alcoholic content, without distinction of the medium used,” it adds.

    They may sponsor any sporting, recreational and even cultural activity.Of course, there will be a prohibition and that is to use the brands or names of alcoholic beverages in sports activities aimed for minors.

    One step in Plenary

    In February of the previous year, the Legal Affairs Commission of the Legislative Assembly ruled on the draft Law for the Promotion and Strengthening of National Sports, which seeks to allow the sponsorship of alcoholic beverages in sports.

    Presented by the PUSC deputy, Daniela Rojas, the objective of this proposal is to support athletes of the different disciplines in the country, not focused on institutions or teams.

    “It is a simpler project to try to achieve support for athletes. It is not for institutions, not because they do not deserve or need it, but this project seeks sponsorship for athletes,” said Rojas.

    The initiative is processed under file 23,216 and after being ruled it went to the Plenary. Currently and after more than a year, motions are being processed via article 137.

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