The Arena Pernambuco was unveiled this Monday 20 May with a game of football between some of the workers who helped in its construction, thus making it the sixth 2014 FIFA World Cup™ stadium to be handed over.
The Arena’s ceremonial kick-off was taken by the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, who took part in the unveiling alongside the country’s Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo and the Governor of Pernambuco, Eduardo Campos. The CEO of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee (LOC), Ricardo Trade, was also present.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter sent a video-message that was played on the big screens at the Arena Pernambuco during the event. “I really can’t wait to come to Recife in person and visit this special project for the FIFA World Cup, which is seen as an economic catalyst for the continued expansion of Grande Recife,” he said.
“I'm impressed by the host city’s vision in building a stadium in an area where they wasn’t one before, and which will now be transformed into a neighbourhood that, in future, will feature nearly 5,000 houses. That’s a legacy: using the hosting of the FIFA World Cup for the benefit of the population.”
The first official match at the Arena Pernambuco will take place this Thursday 23 May, when Nautico face Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in a test event for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 – a competition which begins on 15 June. The stadium is set to host a total of three group matches at the showpiece event.
The first of them is the Group B clash between reigning FIFA World Cup holders Spain and two-time world champions Uruguay on 16 June. Three days later, Group A rivals Italy will meet Japan in the Arena, while the venue’s last game at Brazil 2013 will be Uruguay versus Tahiti – on the final matchday of Group B – on 23 June.