Genial skills, wonder goals and thrilling games. An average match attendance of over 50,000, incomparable atmospheres in the stadiums, and over 30 million visitors to FIFA.com over its two weeks. The FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 was not just a success, it was a definitely overwhelming one.
The morning after Brazil’s 3-0 victory over Spain in a pulsating Final, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) held a press conference. Addressing the attendees were FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter; José Maria Marin, President of the LOC for the FIFA World Cup™; FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke; Ricardo Trade, LOC CEO; Luis Fernandes, Deputy Sports Minister; Ronaldo, LOC Member of the Board of Administration; and referee Howard Webb. FIFA.com recaps some of their comments on topics including the indescribable atmosphere in the Maracana, the organisation of the tournament and goal-line technology.
Joseph S. Blatter:
“What we witnessed yesterday was something that I have never witnessed. The Maracana has something very exceptional. When I first visited the Maracana in ‘75, and then years later, there’s always something special, that roar. I always said you can compare such a stadium to a church – not a church but a cathedral. And then yesterday to have these feelings of the Maracana you needed the lot. First of all you needed the actors, the teams. The world champions on one side and the aspiring world champions – and five-time world champions – on the other side. Both of them are identified as brilliant football teams – their technique, tactics. And then you needed the fans. The fans were extraordinary in the stadium yesterday. I can still feel [the atmosphere] in the stadium today. When they started to sign the national anthem, even when the official part of it was over, they continued to sing. Ok, perhaps it delayed the match for two minutes, but it was not too important. This was one big part of this success. In the Final, I would say that history was written in Brazil because the new, remodelled Maracana stadium, was given to the national team and they won a big title. Don’t speak of it as a rehearsal tournament; it really was a competition of the champions. When we started this competition, there was some uncertainty as to what would happen when we realised about this social unrest, but it was an extraordinary competition. We will have an absolutely outstanding World Cup next year.”
"There are three million tickets available for the World Cup but this is a land of 200 million people, so we will have fan zones and giant screens in different locations, maybe in the favelas and other places where people have no access to the stadium. We want to give them the chance to watch and be part of the World Cup."
José Maria Marin:
“I won’t hide my deepest joy that [Brazil] won this FIFA Confederations Cup. On behalf of Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlos Alberto Parreira and all the players, I’d like to express our deepest thanks to the Brazilians fans who were present in the stadiums and those who couldn’t be present. I have to agree with Mr Blatter: never in my life have I heard a national anthem sung with such patriotism. When I heard the anthem sung like that before the Final, I was sure Brazil were going to win.”
“Not just for the World Cup but for Brazil as a whole, we had to improve traffic, communication, airport infrastructure, public security, and we were able to achieve this and create a heritage for football. We still have things to work on. From the experience of the Confederations Cup, we were able to learn different lessons. Next year year we will be able to anticipate the problems and create solutions in advance.”
“This tournament has been different for us in that we’ve had the introduction of goal-line technology. It was our first experience of having the technology. Although we saw many goals in the tournament, they were all clear, with no goal-line doubt situations. But irrespective of that, from our point of view, the reassurance that the system gives us is a big benefit. The system has been reliable in our tests. We’ve had no concerns. In the semi-final [penalty shootout] between Italy and Spain, we knew that there’d be no issue about whether the ball had crossed the line or not because the system is totally reliable and we have total confidence in it. So I’d like to congratulate FIFA on the move to make that part of our life simpler, and I think I speak on behalf of all the referees when I say that we welcome this technology with open arms.”