FIFA cancels Brazil 500-Day celebrations

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MOSCOW. January 28. KAZINFORM R-Sport Football's world governing body FIFA has cancelled celebrations marking 500 days until the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after a night club fire killed more than 230 people.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff declared three days of national mourning Monday after the country's deadliest fire in half a century struck the Kiss night club in the southern city of Santa Maria.

"The event marking the 500 days to go to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, previously scheduled for this Monday ... has been cancelled," a FIFA statement said.

The decision was taken "in respect for the more than 200 people who died in a tragic incident in Santa Maria," the statement added.

The unveiling of the official World Cup poster is moved to Wednesday, organizers said.

Most victims in the blaze in the early hours of Sunday morning died of smoke inhalation or were crushed to death in the stampede to get out, authorities have said.

The fire started when a live band started a fireworks display on stage in front of more than 1,000 people. Thick smoke engulfed the venue after soundproofing material caught alight.

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