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Fifa names Brazil's World Cup mascot 'Fuleco'

Published on Nov 26, 2012 10:45 AM
A inflatable puppet of the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 mascot, a "tatu-bola" (armadillo) at Esplanada dos Ministerios in Brasilia, on Sept 24, 2012. -- PHOTO : AFP

SAO PAULO (REUTERS) - Fifa has named the mascot for the 2014 Brazil World Cup "Fuleco," a word which organisers say transmits a message of environmental awareness.

Almost half of the more than 1.7 million people who voted in an online poll chose Fuleco ahead of 'Zuzeco' and 'Amijubi'.

The mascot is a three-banded armadillo, which is an endangered species in Brazil. The tradition of a World Cup mascot dates back to 1966, when a lion named 'World Cup Willie' was chosen for the tournament in England.

Since then, the mascots have ranged from two German boys "Tip and Tap" in 1974, to "Pique" the chili pepper in Mexico in 1986, and "Zakumi" the leopard, who represented the tournament in South Africa in 2010.

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