His plea was made at a media briefing held at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Palace Hotel which followed a meeting of the FIFA Organising Committee for the FIFA Confederations Cup. The briefing reviewed the meeting and also provided a technical update on the preparations for the tournament, just two days before the opening match between Brazil and Japan.
Present at the briefing were FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, Brazil's Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, Acting Chairman of the Organising Committee of the FIFA Confederations Cup Jacques Anouma, President of the Local Organising Committee Jose Maria Marin, the FIFA Secretary General Valcke and the CEO of the Local Organising Committee Ricardo Trade.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter
This year is the FIFA Confederations Cup, the festival of champions; it’s not a dress rehearsal for the World Cup. It’s giving the organisers the chance to have two tournaments one year after another.
Also, FIFA are holding a Football For Hope in Belo Horizonte between 26 and 29 June as part of our legacy programme. During this time, there will be an important date: the 26 June. If you go back ten years, we sadly had the tragic death of a footballer on the field of play, Marc-Vivien Foe.
We will commemorate him and also reflect on what has changed in those ten years in terms of prevention and in dealing with sudden heart attacks. Defibrillators have been distributed to all of our member associations – and we hope that every stadium in the world will have one in the future.
In this competition we will have a new technical approach – it will be the first time that FIFA will use goal-line technology to help referees [in an competition for national teams]. The referees are happy that they have the security to know if a goal has definitely been scored.
Jose Maria Marin, President of the Local Organising Committee
We had a very productive meeting. We talked about the latest organisational details of the FIFA Confederations Cup. After years of hard work, now it is time for the games to begin. This Saturday we witness the start of the biggest football tournament in Brazil since the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The fans will be the life and soul of this party across the six cities and the six great stadiums. I am absolutely sure that the eight national teams taking part have all the facilities they need to excel.
However, I urge all fans that are going to go to Brasilia to arrive early to avoid standing in queues and see the beautiful Opening Ceremony. The doors of the stadium will be opened four hours in advance.
Aldo Rebelo, Brazil's Minister of Sport
I believe that we can finally state that Brazil’s huge preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup are over. We are ready. We are in a position to live up to the country and the world’s expectations in holding this important event. As you know there was a delay in the delivery for some of the stadiums, but even with those delays, these stadiums have been tested and they have been shown to work. Yes, we still have people working on them, but this is merely fine tuning.
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke
It’s a great event for all the teams. By winning this event they become champion of champions – that’s why it’s an important event. All of the teams participating are of the highest quality. The appetite of the fans is incredible. We’ve sold three times more tickets than we did for the last FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. However, I need to make an important point. There are thousands of people who have bought their tickets who have not collected them: 6,000 for the opening game and 20,000 for Italy-Mexico at the Maracana. People cannot collect their tickets from the stadium on matchdays but can from the Ticketing Centres.