By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Soccerex, the soccer (football) convention scheduled to be hosted at the Maracanã prior to the World Cup draw, has been canceled by the Rio de Janeiro state government over concerns of “civic unrest.” The move was taken on Tuesday evening with Soccerex now threatening to sue the Rio government over the “unique and cruel” last minute decision.

Rio Cancels Soccerex Convention, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The Maracanã was set to host the 2013 Soccerex convention, which has now been canceled, photo by Wikipedia/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

“It is with great disappointment that we must confirm that the final Soccerex Global Convention in Brazil will now not be taking place. With the ongoing civil unrest, the Rio de Janeiro state Secretary of Sport took the political decision to withdraw their support from the Soccerex Global Convention,” a Soccerex statement read.

The Rio state government, however, denied that the convention had been canceled due to concerns over safety. Government officials said that funding was withdrawn due to disagreements over the funding of the event.

Close to 5,000 were due to attend one of the world’s largest soccer conventions at the renovated Maracanã, stage for the 2014 World Cup final. Many planned to attend the Soccerex event before making the trip to Salvador for the World Cup group stage draw on December 6th.

The Maracanã was refurbished at a public cost of R$1.2 billion but has since switched to private ownership. A consortium known as Maracanã S.A. hold a 35-year lease of the stadium, meaning the city was unable to make a guarantee about the availability of the stadium without the consortium’s consent.

The event has been held in Rio de Janeiro previously without much incident. FIFA marketing direcotry Thierry Weil said the cancelation of Soccerex “won’t impact the World Cup.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “The Rio state government, however, denied that the convention had been canceled due to concerns over safety. Government officials said that funding was withdrawn due to disagreements over the funding of the event.”

    you forgot the keywords “public money”. Admit that soccerex where denied by government of the state of Rio for support with public money, because they understood it would be a bad idea. The people at soccerex are cry babies who cannot party without help of “public money”.

  2. Well… bad news… hope they will sort it out somehow… and i will get my money back or other reward.
    As an event planner i can imagine, what do guys at Soccerex feel… I was waiting for this event at Maracana…
    Well, ive been at Soccerex last year and still planning to visit Rio again! All those unhappy news from Brazil during all the year, not helping much in promoting the destination here: sky-high prices (without quality behind it), social unrest (as seen on tv – people judge by tv-pics, not reality), and now an international event cancelation don’t make it good-looking for business…

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