Fifa, soccer's international governing body, said today it has no intention of cancelling the Confederations Cup, the World Cup dress rehearsal, against the background of increasingly volatile mass protests taking place across host country Brazil, which resulted in a first fatality yesterday.
Anti-government protests have been a daily occurrence since the Confederations Cup began on June 15, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, but the demonstrations have intensified in recent days, with more than one million people in 100 cities across Brazil taking to the streets.
An 18-year-old was killed as a car rammed into a crowd of protestors in the state of Sao Paulo on Thursday.
Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, said earlier this week that the demonstrators were exploiting the sport by staging protests during the Confederations Cup, but, in a statement today, the federation took a more conciliatory approach.
It said: "We support and acknowledge the right of free speech and to demonstrate peacefully and condemn any form of violence. We are in constant contact with the local authorities and have full trust in the security arrangements in place.
"We will continue to monitor the situation. At no stage neither FIFA, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) nor the Federal Government discussed or considered to cancel the Fifa Confederations Cup."
"We are in constant contact with all stakeholders, including the teams, and keep them updated on all arrangements made."
Fifa also said it has "not received any requests to leave Brazil, from any team," in the wake of reports that Italy had been considering quitting the tournament amid security fears.
The protests, which originally began as a response to higher transport fares, are partly aimed at government spending on next year’s World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Today is a rest day in the Confederations Cup, with two matches scheduled for Salvador and Belo Horizonte tomorrow. The tournament is due to conclude with the final at the Maracana stadium in Rio on June 30.