World Cup mascot fails to cash in with FIFA

The World Cup mascot Fuleco ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Ronald Martinez, Getty Images)
The World Cup mascot Fuleco ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Ronald Martinez, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/30 3:40 pm

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Global soccer authority FIFA on Monday said that it could not reach a financial agreement with a wildlife conservation group that is trying to save an endangered armadillo -- which was chosen as the World Cup mascot.

FIFA's head of corporate and social responsibility, Federico Addiechi, said "there was no interest from the other side in collaborating with us."

The Caatinga Association disagrees. It was instrumental in getting the armadillo chosen as the World Cup mascot, which was named "Fuleco" — a combination of the Portuguese words for football and ecology.

Caatinga Association director Rodrigo Castro said he turned down a FIFA offer of $135,000, about one-tenth of what he said was needed to get the armadillo off endangered species lists.

FIFA generates about $5 billion in revenue in a four-year World Cup cycle.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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