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FIFA Has Not Discussed Canceling Confederations Cup In Brazil

posted 21 Jun 2013, 08:31 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 21 Jun 2013, 08:31 ]

Despite local media reports, FIFA says it has not discussed nor considered cancelling the Confederations Cup due to widespread protests and clashes.

 RIO DE JANEIROBRAZIL (JUNE 21, 2013) (REUTERS) -  FIFA has not discussed the possibility of cancelling the Confederations Cup, which has been overshadowed by protests sweeping Brazil, soccer's governing body said on Friday (June 21).

"At no stage, and I repeat no stage has FIFA, the Local Organising Committee nor the federal government discussed or considered to cancel the FIFA Confederations Cup. We are in constant contact with all stakeholders including teams, and keep them updated on all the arrangements made. We have not received any requests to leave from any team," said FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola.

CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream Brazilian media, carried reports earlier on Friday speculating that the eight-team tournament, considered a dry run for next year's World Cup, was in danger.

"FIFA will claim compensation from Brazil if the Confederations Cup has to be suspended," said a headline on CBN's website.

An estimated one million people took to the streets in cities across Brazil on Thursday as the country's biggest protests in two decades intensified despite government concessions meant to quell them.

The protests, now in their second week, have been about high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services and have also targeted the $26 billion of public money being spent on the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

CBN report said one of the eight teams were pressuring their leaders to leave the Confederations Cup because they were worried about relatives who were in Brazilto watch the matches.

The Estado said that FIFA was negotiating with the teams to try to persuade them to stay.

The Estado said that two FIFA vehicles were attacked in Salvador, where Uruguayplayed Nigeria on Wednesday, and its employees had been instructed not to wear uniforms outside their hotel.

FIFA confirmed the incident but said the vehicles were empty and parked in the street when the windows were smashed.

No matches were scheduled for Friday. Play is due to resume on Saturday with Italyfacing Brazil in Salvador and Japan playing Mexico in Belo Horizonte.