Embarrassment for Rio as Soccerex is canceled
By Andrew Downie
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - This year's Soccerex Global Convention which brings together major decision makers in the sport has been canceled with the two sides involved in the dispute giving different reasons for the event being called off.
The Rio State Government said the cancellation was related to finances, while Soccerex directors said official support was withdrawn because of the fear of civil unrest.
The gathering of 4,500 delegates involved in soccer administration, marketing, sponsorship and the media, was due to be held from November 30-December 5 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio ahead of the draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The cancellation is a major embarrassment for the city that will host the World Cup final at the Maracana next July.
The convention was expected to attract many of soccer's heavyweights travelling to Brazil for the December 6 World Cup draw. FIFA president Sepp Blatter was among those scheduled to speak.
"It is with great disappointment that we must confirm that the final Soccerex Global Convention in Brazil will now not be taking place," Soccerex said in a statement.
"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."
"Preparations for the event at the Maracana Stadium were well advanced with content planned, speakers confirmed and partnerships in place." Continued...