The final countdown to the much-awaited global sporting event FIFA World Cup 2014 has begun, with the opening ceremony set to take place at the Arena Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo on Thursday, a day before the matches start.
However, Jennifer Lopez, who was supposed to perform the World Cup 2014 Song along with Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte at the opening ceremony, has reportedly opted out.
Not long after expressing her excitement about the live performance at the World Cup 2014 opening ceremony, Lopez has confirmed through representatives that she would not perform at the event, without giving any further explaination.
The official World Cup 2014 Song titled "We Are One (Ole Ola)" by Pitbull feat. Lopez and Leitte has got over 69 million hits since it was uploaded on YouTube on 16 May, despite receiving criticisms from many Brazilians for generic sounds and involment of foreign musicians.
FIFA has now revealed in a statement that Pitbull and Leitte will perform "We Are One (Ole Ola)", before Brazil take on Croatia in the tournament opener.
J-Lo is going through some tough times at the moment. She announced her split from boyfriend Casper Smart last week, ending her two-and-a-half year relationship with the dancer. Smart, 27, has reportedly left the 44-year-old singer's Los Angeles home, after packing his belongings.
World Cup 2014 Opening Ceremony Timing:
The opening ceremony of the World Cup 2014 will kick off at 3:15pm local time (17:00 GMT/10:30pm IST) at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil and end at 5:15pm (19:00 GMT/12:30am IST) on Thursday.
Several big names will perform at the ceremony, besides the rendition of the theme song by Pitbull and Leitte. Beyonce Knowles and The Beatles' Sir Paul McCartney will also perform, though it's not known whether they will appear together or give individual performances.
More than 600 dancers are going to set the stage on fire with their performances. It was also reported that FIFA president Sepp Blatter has invited Palestinian "Arab Idol" winner Mohammed Assaf to perform live at the event.
The 32 nations participating in the competition and the 12 host cities are giving the finishing touches to the preparations before the sporting extravaganza begins, according to the official FIFA website.
"The Opening Ceremony is a tribute to Brazil and its treasures: nature, people football," FIFA quoted the show's Belgian artistic director Daphne Cornez. "The sense of excitement here is amazing and everyone is very motivated. It doesn't matter whether they're feeling tired or hot sometimes or if they have to go through routines again and again: they just keep on smiling. It's amazing."
(Image credit: screenshot from official video)