- Confederations Cup: No plans to abandon event despite protests – Fifa09:45 | 22/06/2013
Fifa insisted on Friday that there were no plans to abandon the Confederations Cup in Brazil despite the protests that have affected the tournament.
Local media claimed the eight-team competition, which includes Spain and Italy as well as the hosts, could be stopped after an estimated one million people protested in cities across Brazil on Thursday.
However, a Fifa spokesman told Press Association Sport: “To date, neither Fifa nor the LOC (the local organising committee) have ever discussed any such a possibility.”
The country’s biggest protests in two decades have 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 $26bn of public money being spent on the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
A 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 Brazil to watch the matches.
“On the legal side, there’s a certain degree of confidence on Fifa’s part that if the tournament is cancelled, it can launch a claim from the Brazilian government, if there are no safety guarantees for the competition or the World Cup,” said the report by Juca Kfouri, a veteran Brazilian sports journalist. “There is strong speculation, which won’t go away,” he added, referring to rumours that the competition was in danger.
The Estado de São Paulo website said Fifa was negotiating with the teams to try to persuade them to stay. “The protests in the streets of Brazilian cities have forced Fifa to negotiate with the teams to keep them in the Confederations Cup,” it said. “By law, if there is no guarantee of safety, it could force the tournament to be cancelled.”
No matches for scheduled for Friday. Play is due to resume on Saturday with Italy facing Brazil in Salvador and Japan playing Mexico in Belo Horizonte.
According to Guardian
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