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Brazilians upset about potential names for 2014 World Cup mascot

September 20, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • World Cup organizers have selected an armadillo as the mascot for the 2014 games in Brazil. But what should it be named?
World Cup organizers have selected an armadillo as the mascot for the 2014… (FIFA )

Brazilians seem to like the 2014 World Cup mascot, an armadillo sporting a white shirt and green shorts, but they're not sold on its potential name.

The three-banded armadillo is a Brazilian native known as the tatu-bola. It's also an endangered species.

"I'm delighted to welcome such an important member to the 2014 team," said former Brazilian striker Ronaldo, a member of the organizing committee. "The mascot will play a key ambassadorial role in the next two years. I'm sure he will inspire many young football fans in Brazil and all over the world with the great passion which he has for the sport and for his country."

But now that it's time to give the mascot a name, a controversy has unfolded. FIFA wants the public to vote on its website for one of three names: Amujibi, Fuleco and Zuzeco. They are combinations of Brazilian words for friendliness, football, joy and ecology.

Media polls show that a vast majority of people don't like the names and more than 23,000 have signed an online petition seeking a more democratic approach to selecting the mascot's name.

FIFA said it will not yield to the protests and that it will announce the winner on Nov. 25.

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