On Wednesday 28 January, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter began his visit to South America in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo. During the course of the day, he took part in several diplomatic meetings and held a brief press conference as well as fitting in a visit to the city's Museum of Football in the company of various political leaders.
"FIFA is very honoured to be organising the 2014 World Cup here in Brazil. It will be like discovering football once more. We're proud to give this country, which has been world champions on five occasions, the opportunity to hold the World Cup across 12 cities," he told a press conference attended by members of the local media.
"During this period of crisis, we need excitement more than ever. Football never stops providing excitement. As far as the organisation is concerned, from now on, we'll work on it very closely with the Local Organising Committee," concluded the FIFA President, who was accompanied by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, among others.
Prior to this, the FIFA President had visited Bandeirantes Palace where he received an award from Eduardo Braga, governor of Amazonas state, just moments before meeting with the governor of Sao Paulo, Jose Serra, the mayor of Sao Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, and two of the biggest names in Brazilian football: Brazilian Football Association President Ricardo Teixeira and Pele.
After speaking to the media, Joseph S. Blatter visited the Sao Paulo Museum of Football which is located in the city's Pacaembu stadium. Impressed in particular by the museum's up-to-date design, the President praised "a very modern museum, which reflects football in a lively way".
The FIFA President will spend three days in South America. On Thursday 29 January, Blatter will meet President Lula Da Silva in Brasilia at 9.00am. After that, he will take part in the 61st edition of the CONMEBOL Regular Congress in Asuncion, Paraguay and will attend a press conference right after the Congress.
Next on his agenda will be a visit to the Casa del Fútbol Sudamericana (Home of South American Football) where he will inaugurate the South American Football Museum and Convention Centre. In attendance will be a host of famous faces from the region as well as various members of the Paraguayan national and municipal authorities.