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Empty threats? Brazilian mayor says city will drop out of World Cup hosting if Tuesday vote goes sour

Mar 24, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

Brazil WCup FIFA Visit AP

Is there a country capable of hosting a major event without protests and political tomfoolery? In Brazil’s case, the answer continues to be a resounding “No” as the controversy continues to fly in South America.

In southern Brazil’s Porto Alegre, the stadium is almost done but the funding for several other necessary structures lags behind. There’s a vote coming up Tuesday that will determine whether tax breaks will be given to companies willing to help in the construction.

And if the vote goes sour, Porto Alegre mayor Jose Fortunati is ready to pull the plug on his city as a host for the 2014 World Cup:

In an interview with local Radio Gaucha, Mr Fortunati said he was more worried about the temporary structures.

“If the project is not voted, we won’t have the World Cup in Porto Alegre. There’s no Plan B, nor C nor Z,” he warned.

The authorities are not allowed to use public money in structures that will not be used after the World Cup.

Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke said on Friday that delays were most worrying in Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians – set to host the opening match – and in Porto Alegre’s Beira Rio, just under three months before the tournament.

These are almost certainly empty threats at this stage in the game. The vote will work out in the mayor’s favor and all will be settled until the next bout of political unrest arrives (which surely is on the horizon). Could a World Cup host city really walk away from the games with so much money invested

If you’re wondering, the only way the U.S. will play in Porto Alegre will be if they win Group G. That match would take place on June 30.

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