FIFA Confederations Cup preparations continue apace

The Auditorio Juscelino Kubitschek in Belo Horizonte provided the setting for the final FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Operational Planning meeting on Tuesday.

Organised by the Brazilian Ministry of Sport with the support of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee (LOC), the meeting brought together the operational departments of the Brazilian government, the Minas Gerais state government and Belo Horizonte City Council as well as representatives from the LOC.

On the agenda were operational plans at the Estadio Mineirao and surrounding area. The stadium will host three matches at this June’s Festival of Champions.

“I’ve attended all the Operational Planning meetings held at the tournament’s six host cities and I can safely say this initiative has been successful in helping all levels of government move forward,” said LOC CEO Ricardo Trade. “They’ve shown that everyone wants the Confederations Cup to be a success in its own right and not just a dress rehearsal.”

Brazil 2013 the first step
Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo spoke of the importance of the FIFA Confederations Cup as the first of several major sporting events the country will host in the next few years.

“The staging of the Confederations Cup will be something of a competition for us, a chance for us to prove our credentials in organising major events,” he said. “If it passes this test, Brazil will consolidate its position as a stage for events of this scale. 

"This meeting was an important one because it allowed a whole number of aspects in every operational area to be brought into line with each other. If we can stage a successful Confederations Cup, it will go a long way to dispelling some of the pessimistic and negative views certain people have been putting forward.”

Tiago Lacerda, the Special FIFA World Cup Secretary for Minas Gerais state, spoke of the ongoing preparations for this June’s tournament and the initiatives that have already been rolled out in the city.

“There are a little over 70 days to go before the start of the tournament and we have to make the most of opportunities like this meeting to improve the actions we’re going to be implementing,” he explained. “Some of them are already up and running, such as the Integrated Command and Control Centre, where all the security-related bodies will be represented. The legacy the Confederations Cup and World Cup will leave for Minas Gerais and Brazil is already taking shape.”

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Belo Horizonte Marcio Lacerda had this to say: “Belo Horizonte is ready and one of the key factors in making this possible is the coordination between the federal, state and municipal authorities, which has put Brazil on another level when it comes to hosting major sporting events.”

The first of the six FIFA Confederations Cup Operational Planning meetings was held in Brasilia on 12 March, with the next four get-togethers before Belo Horizonte taking place in Rio de Janeiro on the 13th, Fortaleza on the 14th, Recife on the 26th and Salvador on the 27th.