Fears For 2014 Brazil World Cup As Soccerex Conference Called Off Due To Unrest
Fears about disruption to the 2014 World Cup "have been raised after the key global football conference Soccerex was cancelled because of continuing civil unrest," according to the BBC. It "was due to start" in just three weeks time at the Macarana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The organizers and Rio's state government "disagreed over why the event is being called off." In a statement, the organizers said the government took the decision because of "ongoing civil unrest" in Brazil. This was later "strongly denied" by the state government of Rio, instead citing funding problems. In a statement, the Rio government said, "The governor says he encouraged the organisers to seek cultural and sports incentive funding to finance the event, but the organisers failed to do so." The organizers said that they would "be taking legal action against the Rio authorities responsible." Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie called the cancelation "cruel" and said he wanted to apologize to "every business, football club, league, federation and media organization affected by this news" (BBC, 11/5). FIFA Marketing Dir Thierry Weil told reporters in London: "We are as surprised as anybody at this change of plans but we do not believe it will have any influence on the hosting of the World Cup. It's a pity it has been canceled, it's never good when you cancel such an event. Flights and hotels have been booked and this causes massive disruption, but this won't impact on the World Cup" (REUTERS, 11/5).