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  • 'Beautiful game' rivals the Games


    The U.S. hosted the World Cup in 1994 but had enough stadium capacity that it did not need to schedule games in Atlanta, which hosted the Olympics two years later.

    Even if Brazil convinces the IOC that it has the financial resources for both events, the World Cup might hurt the country's chances if the IOC feels a little put off if the Brazil's sporting heart is pursuing another love, said Olympic expert Ed Hula.

    "This is an unusual situation for the IOC," said Hula, founder of Around the Rings, an online publication that follows the Games. "The thinking is that you want to 'own' a country for four years before the Olympics. But [soccer] is No. 1 here, not the Olympics."

    Hula noted possible problems if the World Cup and Olympics feature competing soft drinks as sponsors, for example, and both try to establish beachheads in promoting their events. Likewise, Hula warned of "ticket fatigue" because Olympic tickets likely would go on sale soon after the end of the World Cup.

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