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Blatter Fiddles While Brazil Riots

brazilprotestsFifa have announced that the Confederations Cup wil go on despite battles in the streets between Brazilian police and protesters.

An estimated one million people protested in cities across Brazil on Thursday in part because of the money the government has spent ($26B) towards staging the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

But that means nothing to Blatter and Fifa, and a spokesman told Press Association Sport:

“To date, neither Fifa nor the LOC (the local organising committee) have ever discussed any such a possibility.”

A report out of Brazil said that an unnamed team was 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.

If the protests continue to grow in Brazil through the weekend, Fifa might have no choice but to postpone the tournament. And if that happens, could it put the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in jeopardy?