LONDON (AP) — Organizers of a major World Cup soccer conference in Rio de Janeiro say it's been called off.

Soccerex, a global trade show for the soccer industry, says in an emailed statement that the Rio secretary of sport "took the political decision to withdraw their support" because of various protests in Brazil during the last several months.

Leading soccer executives, managers and ex-players were expected to attend the conference at the Maracana from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5.

In a brief statement, the Rio de Janeiro state secretary of sport says Rio was able to "welcome and ensure safety during any event" held in the city.

Soccerex say it's starting legal proceedings against the Rio state government, seeking "substantial compensation" for breaching its contract.

FIFA says the cancellation was not an indication of heightened security fears ahead of the World Cup in June.

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