Rio De Janeiro, Jan 28 : FIFA and government officials have cancelled celebrations marking 500 days until next year's World Cup out of respect for victims of the nightclub tragedy in southern Brazil.

Organisers also postponed plans to unveil the official World Cup poster during an event in capital Brasilia as the country mourns the loss of more than 230 lives after the devastating fire in the city of Santa Maria, reports Xinhua.

"Due to the tragedy FIFA, the World Cup organising committee and the government have jointly agreed to cancel the celebrations planned for Monday. This is not the time for festivities," sport's minister Aldo Rebelo said Sunday.

FIFA's secretary-general Jerome Valcke also offered his condolences to families and friends of the victims.

"I am a father, so I can imagine how the parents must be feeling," Valcke said.

Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state football federation suspended all first division matches Sunday and a minute's silence was observed before matches in all other states.


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