Cancelling of Laureus awards not helping image of Brazil ahead of 2014Sepp Blatter claims Brazil is under-prepared for the 2014 World Cup -
The news that the prestigious Laureus sports awards have suddenly been called off presents Brazil with further logistical and public relations problems, at a time when the country's World Cup preparations are still recovering from stadium turmoil and mass public unrest.
The star-studded event, known affectionately as the 'Oscars' of sport, had been due to take place in March in Rio de Janeiro for the second year running and it is believed that monetary issues are behind its cancellation.
The world's leading sporting lights, including Usain Bolt and Rafael Nadal, had been expected at the red-carpet ceremony to potentially receive global recognition for various levels of domination.
However, disputes between the Rio state government and Laureus over funding for this and last year's event have disrupted the schedule. Three months ago a Soccerex conference was cancelled so as not to agitate an already-fragile relationship between the state and its citizens.
Protests ran throughout 2013 in Rio in particular regarding the wages given to local workers and proposals for public transport fee alterations.
The cancelling of the Laureus gala does nothing to dispell FIFA President Sepp Blatter's claim that Brazil is the least prepared of all previous World Cup hosts.