Local newspaper Estado de S.Paulo on Sunday quoted a Rio prefecture spokesperson as saying "the matter is being discussed and there is still no confirmation".

It is understood authorities in Rio are concerned about the threat of violent protests during the open-air fan events, which will provide live broadcasts of matches on giant screens and free entertainment in World Cup host cities.

Last month, the prefecture of Brazil's northeastern city of Recife announced that it could not afford to stage the fan fest, prompting a warning from FIFA's Marketing Director Thierry Weil.

"We have to have fan fests in all cities and if needed we will speak to our lawyers," Weil said.

Recife and Rio de Janeiro have been the scenes of mass anti-government rallies since the Confederations Cup last June.

Several protestors have expressed concern at the huge public cost of staging the event scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 13.

While most of the marches have been peaceful, some have been marred by violence. Last month, television cameraman Santiago Andrade died after being struck by a flare while covering a protest in Rio de Janeiro.

Recife's Arena Pernambuco will stage five World Cup matches while Rio's Maracana stadium will host seven fixtures, including the final.



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