FIFA at no stage has discussed the possibility of canceling the Confederations Cup, which has been overshadowed by protests sweeping Brazil, according to a brief statement on Friday from soccer’s main organization following on reports from the Brazilian media.
To date, neither FIFA nor the local organizing committee has ever discussed any such possibility of canceling the FIFA Confederations Cup FIFA said in the statement.
CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream Brazilian media, carried reports earlier on Friday speculating that the eight-team tournament, considered a dry run for next year's World Cup, was in danger.
FIFA will claim compensation from Brazil if the Confederations Cup has to be suspended, said a headline on CBN's website.
An estimated one million people took to the streets in cities across Brazil on Thursday as the country's biggest protests in two decades 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 26 billion dollars of public money being spent on the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
A CBN report said one of the eight teams 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 Juck Kfouri, a veteran Brazilian sports journalist.
There is strong speculation, which won't go away he added, referring to rumors that the competition was in danger.
The FIFA brief note said “We support and acknowledge the right of free speech and to demonstrate peacefully and condemn any form of violence. We are in constant contact with the local authorities and have full trust in the security arrangements in place.
“We will continue to monitor the situation. At no stage neither FIFA, or the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) or the Federal Government discussed or considered to cancel the FIFA Confederations Cup.
“We are in constant contact with all stakeholders, including the teams, and keep them updated on all arrangements made. We have not received any requests to leave Brazil from any team”.