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RIO DE JANEIRO, Xinhua - Brazilian soccer fans have called for a greater say in the naming of the country's 2014 World Cup mascot.
Days after confirming an armadillo as the event's official mascot, Brazil's World Cup organizing committee released a list of three names which have been put to a public vote.
But the names - Amijubi, Fuleco and Zuzeco - have been heavily criticized by the Brazilians who are unhappy at being left out of the selection process for the shortlist.
An inflated official mascot of the 2014 World Cup is seen at the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia, Sept 24, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
An online petition calling for the scrapping of the names had already been signed by more than 26,000 people on Thursday night.
"We want to participate in choosing the names that are put to the vote," a note from the petition's organizers said.
"The World Cup is open to everybody and we believe a similar philosophy should be adopted to name the mascot."
Brazil's World Cup organizing committee released a statement on Thursday saying the names would not be revised.
"We are confident that after the Brazilian public votes to decide the name of the mascot it will start developing along with the character," the statement read.
Amijubi comes from the words "amizade" (friendship) and "jubilo" (joy), Fuleco comes from "futebol" (football) and "ecologia" (ecology), while Zuzeco comes from "azul" (blue) and "ecologia" (ecology).