Jennifer Lopez backs out of World Cup opening in Brazil

Jennifer-LopezCALIFORNIA, United States, Wednesday June 11, 2014 – After daunting setbacks from fatal construction accidents to strikes and angry protests, Brazil is facing yet another blow as host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

This time it’s the news that Puerto Rico-born pop diva Jennifer Lopez, who was scheduled to perform the official song of this year’s World Cup at the opening ceremony this week, has abruptly backed out.

In the words of a statement issued late Sunday night: “Regretfully Jennifer Lopez will not be attending this year’s World Cup opening ceremonies.”

No explanation was offered for the award-winning singer’s last minute withdrawal.

The popular American Idol personality teamed up with Brazilian star Claudia Leitte and rapper Pitbull to record Brazil 2014′s official song, “We Are One (Ola Ola).”

The trio, now apparently reduced to “We Are Three Minus One,” was scheduled to perform at the tournament’s opening ceremony ahead of the host nation’s first match with Croatia in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

Soon after the song was released, Pitbull expressed his pleasure at being a part of the project.

“I’m honoured to join Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte at the FIFA World Cup to bring the world together,” the rapper said.

“I truly believe that this great game and the power of music will help unify us, because we are best when we are one.”

The World Cup song tradition had its genesis at the 1966 World Cup in England, when a song dedicated to the tournament mascot, a lion named “World Cup Willie,” was released.

Four years ago, ahead of South Africa 2010, Shakira did the World Cup honours with “Waka Waka.”