• Confederations Cup

FIFA: Confederations Cup will not be scrapped

ESPN staff
June 21, 2013
Pele calls for calm amid protests in Brazil

FIFA has dismissed reports in the Brazilian media that the Confederations Cup will be cancelled because of security fears.

The tournament has taken place against a backdrop of nationwide demonstrations that have seen an estimated one million people take to the streets to demand better public services and protest against the government.

Brazilian police had to draft in 1,500 extra armed officers to protect the Maracana Stadium ahead of Spain's 10-0 defeat of Tahiti on Thursday after protesters had blocked the main access road to the Arena Castelao, in Fortaleza, earlier in the week.

Such scenes led CBN Radio and Estado de Sao Paulo to report that the remaining fixtures of the Confederations Cup could be scrapped as the demonstrations continued across the country.

However, a FIFA spokesperson told BBC Sport there were no plans to abandon the eight-team tournament and no discussions about doing so had taken place.

"Neither FIFA nor the local organising committee have ever discussed the possibility of cancelling the tournament," he said. "There are currently no plans to discuss it.

"These reports are pure speculation."

Brazil legend Pele urged protesters to leave the streets and focus on football, but his words were greeted with derision on social media.

The tournament is due to resume on Saturday when Italy take on the host nation, while Japan meet Mexico.

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