Civil unrest in Brazil, like the protest pictured above during this past summer's Confederations Cup, has resulted in the cancellation of a major pre-World Cup event.
Felipe Dana/AP

LONDON (AP) - Organizers of a major pre-World Cup football conference in Rio de Janeiro say it has been called off due to ongoing civil unrest in the city.

Soccerex says in an e-mailed statement that the Rio secretary of sport ''took the political decision to withdraw their support'' due to protests that have been raging in Brazil for several months.

The conference was due to be attended by leading football executives from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 at the Maracana.

Soccerex say it is instigating legal proceedings against the Rio state government, seeking ''substantial compensation'' for breaching its contractual obligations.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.