Soccerex makes the following statement in direct response to the false and misleading claims of the Government of Rio de Janeiro.
In their statement, issued on the cancellation of the Soccerex Global Convention 2013, the Government of Rio de Janeiro wrongly seeks to absolve itself of its responsibilities with respect to the funding of the event. It has referred to an alleged failure by Soccerex to secure investment for the event through the Sports Incentive Law, and therefore attempted to apportion blame via this avenue, as opposed to the civil unrest and resulting public pressure as cited to Soccerex by the Rio Government.
In signing the Host City contract for the four editions of the Convention, the State Government committed to make substantial contributions to the event. These obligations and the terms of our contract were known to and entered into with the full knowledge and support, of the Governor, his Secretary of Sports and other governmental agents involved.
Therefore, any reference to ‘recommendation’ for Soccerex to use the Sports Incentive Law is a smokescreen. The Sports Incentive Law is a tax reinvestment system for companies based in Rio – and, since responsibility for the costs mentioned above was contractually assumed by the Government since 2010, under the same administration of Governor Sérgio Cabral, this would have still been their sole responsibility.
As responsibility for organising any funding via this avenue would not have been Soccerex’s in any case, it is unacceptable that the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro, after disregarding its contractual obligations, resulting in a significant impact to Soccerex, is still looking to deliberately mislead public opinion on the subject.
With regards to the speculation that the cost of the Maracana as the event venue was the cause of the event cancellation, we can categorically deny that this was the case. The securing of the event venue was also the contractual obligation of the Rio Government.
This statement aims to clarify:
1. The sole responsibility of the Rio Government regarding any investments and the event venue;
2. The compliance of Soccerex in all of their contractual obligations;
3. The Rio Government’s unilateral decision to cancel due to civil unrest.
Despite the Rio Government’s implication that Soccerex’s failure to obtain funding was the primary reason for the cancellation, this was not the case yet we felt that it must be addressed along with the media speculation regarding the Maracana.
We hope that the above evidences that Soccerex did not contribute to the cancellation of the Global Convention scheduled for next month, and we wish to reiterate that the chief concern cited to us in this situation was the political concern with regard to the social reaction to the Rio Government’s ongoing support for our event.