Sun, January 15, 2012
Sports > Soccer

Rio de Janeiro protests 2014 World Cup schedule

2012-01-15 00:44:47 GMT2012-01-15 08:44:47(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- An organized movement of soccer fans in Rio de Janeiro joined together outside the Maracana stadium on Saturday.

The purpose of the rally is to protest the 2014 World Cup's game schedule. Based on the schedule issued by FIFA, the Brazilian national soccer team will only play in the Maracana stadium if they are able to make it to the finals.

The organizers of the rally have dubbed their cause "Rio deserves one more Brazilian match." The members of the rally held hands and formed a circle around the Maracana stadium, giving it a symbolic hug. The protestors hope to catch the attention of the Brazilian Confederation of Soccer (CBF) as well as FIFA.

The organization is pleading for a change in the World Cup's schedule, pointing to a match in round of 16 or possible the quarterfinals that would transfer Brazil's match in the city of Fortaleza to Rio de Janeiro.

Fortaleza will already be hosting a match of the Brazilian national team in the group phase. Soccer fans in Rio de Janeiro want an adjustment in order to see and cheer for the host country in the case that the team does not make it to the finals.

"What they (FIFA) did is unfair. I don't know why they decided to favor the city of Fortaleza, but they forgot about Rio de Janeiro. Since Fortaleza will have already hosted the Brazilian national team's game, why not let another city see them too," described Nicolas da Costa.

The organizers are preparing a written statement in which they hope to collect an optimistic one million signatures before sending it to FIFA.

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