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Soccer World Cup

Will World Cup Move to United States?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

While it is unlikely to happen, some media outlets are reporting that global soccer’s governing body FIFA is close to canceling the Confederations Cup and potentially moving some 2014 World Cup games to the United States due to the growing civil unrest from the Brazilian protests against government corruption, planned bus fare increases, excessive public spending on World Cup stadiums and 2016 Summer Olympics venues instead of prioritizing public services and infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and transportation.

Two mainstream Brazilian media outlets on Friday reported that the protests could halt the eight-team Confederations Cup tournament — considered a warmup for the World Cup. However, FIFA denies even discussing canceling the tournament, sending a statement to Reuters that reads “to date, neither FIFA nor the local organizing committee have ever discussed any such possibility of cancelling the FIFA Confederations Cup.”

As far as rumors that the World Cup could be moved north to the United States, Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Globo speculated that “it could be exaggerations but some members of Brazil’s Football Confederation fear the [World] Cup will be transferred to the USA due to the protests.”

However, a Reuters analysis pointed out that while there has been sporadic violence and that the protests could “continue to grow in numbers and disrupt daily life in Brazilian cities – perhaps for months to come,” right now the numbers aren’t as large as they appear to be. There is also a popular leftist government in place led by former Marxist guerrilla President Dilma Rousseff who has expressed sympathy for the demonstrators, and a strong economy with low unemployment and rising wages.

“At least for now, the movement appears to be far more ‘Occupy Wall Street’ than ‘Arab Spring’ in terms of its motives, demographics and likely outcome.”