'No plans to cancel Confederations Cup'

'No plans to cancel Confederations Cup'

FIFA has no plans to cancel the Confederations Cup in Brazil despite the violent anti-government protests spreading across the country, the governing body said.

An estimated 1 million protesters took to the streets in more than 80 cities on Thursday in the biggest show of anger yet against the government, which is being accused of corruption, high prices and a lack of investment in public services.

But world football’s governing body is pressing ahead with the eight-team Confederations Cup, which serves as a test event for the 2014 World Cup, in which 32 teams will be playing in the sport’s showcase tournament.

When asked about the possibility of canceling the Confederations Cup, FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press: “To date, neither FIFA nor the LOC (local organizing committee) have ever discussed any such possibility.”

However, FIFA has asked the Brazilian government to provide security guarantees for the Confederations Cup. Less than a day after widespread rioting hit Brazil’s biggest cities, FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke said, “We have asked for security measures that we need in place for the competition to continue until the end.” 

“I hope that this doesn’t last until 2014. It’s a problem that Brazil needs to resolve, not FIFA. We are the wrong target,” he added.

Asked if FIFA had considered a backup plan in case the unrest escalated, Valcke replied: “The Confederations Cup is taking place in Brazil and the World Cup will be here too. We are going to guarantee that it will take place in the best way possible. There’s no plan B.”

The events of the past week prompted President Dilma Rousseff to hold an emergency cabinet meeting in Brasilia on Friday. She told Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo to ensure all of FIFA’s security demands were met.

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