On Thursday 22 August, following the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Local Organising Committee board meeting at the Maracana stadium, a press conference was held with FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, LOC President José Maria Larin, Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil, LOC board member Ronaldo and FIFA Executive Committee member Marco Paulo Del Nero all in attendance.
At the media event it was announced that registration for the FIFA World Cup Volunteer Programme would be reopened on 9 September in Cuiaba. Post-competition occupancy rates for stadiums used at the FIFA Confederations Cup were released, as well as partial figures for FIFA World Cup ticket applications, which opened on Tuesday 20 August. By that point, some 2.3 million tickets had been requested for tournament matches.
Below, FIFA.com brings you key quotes from the press conference:
Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General“The LOC meeting was the first to be held after the Confederations Cup and the first before the World Cup. In a few months’ time we will hold the draw for the World Cup. We discussed what needs to be done at the World Cup stadiums and we analysed what needs to be revised as a result of our experience at the Confederations Cup. We spoke about transport during the World Cup, which is extremely important to the success of the competition. In particular we examined what is needed in terms of air travel, which must provide a good service and offer more flights between cities during the tournament.”
“We will have another meeting in October, but the most important thing is that our teams are working together extremely well and I am very confident about how the project is progressing.”
José Maria Marin, LOC President“We have learned a lot since the Confederations Cup. In terms of operations, the experience for the LOC and the six host cities was incredible, and gave us pointers which have been discussed internally with FIFA and the 12 World Cup host cities. Now we are looking forward, and we can see a much bigger challenge ahead of us: twice the number of host cities, four times the number of teams, 64 games instead of 16, innumerable fans coming from all over the world. The complexity of our mission has increased many times over, but so have our efforts.”
“We were heartened to see the sporting legacy of the tournament already in evidence. Since the end of the Confederations Cup, less than two months ago, we have had 42 events held in six stadiums, with almost 1 million people just at the football matches, not to mention audiences for concerts. We are progressing, improving, learning. And Brazilian football is developing alongside this project.”
Aldo Rebelo, Brazilian Minister of Sport“I think that the visit made to three of the host cities has given us an idea of how organisation and preparation for the 2014 World Cup is going. We went to Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Manaus and all the stadiums were at an advanced stage. We were also shown urban mobility and legacy projects, which all the World Cup host cities have.”
“We can vouch for the preparation and have an optimistic outlook. The government is following all the works closely, both those which comes under the responsibility of the authorities, as well as those for which private companies are responsible. We can say that, aside from the works, the success of the ticket requests shows what the World Cup means for Brazil. It is evidence of the importance and the fundamental character of football and the event for Brazil.”
Thierry Weil, FIFA Marketing Director“It is a pleasure to announce a new record for ticket applications. We are talking about tickets that can be requested until 10 October, when a random selection will take place. In less than seven hours we had more than a million requests. After 24 hours we had received 2.3 million requests. Of these, 88.5 per cent were made by Brazilians, which demonstrates the support shown by Brazilians for the World Cup. To compare, in 2006 there were 500,000 requests in 16 hours. In 2010 it took ten days after sales opened for us to reach 506,000 applications. So I believe we have truly set a new record.”
“The new initiative to deliver tickets to fans’ homes has been well received and will make fans’ lives easier. We will release more information shortly about how this will be done.”
Ronaldo, LOC Board Member“For those wanting to take part in the World Cup, being a volunteer is a great opportunity. Volunteering was a success at the Confederations Cup. But at that competition, 97 per cent of the fans were Brazilian and there wasn’t the need for a lot of volunteers who could speak other languages. Now, we need volunteers with a slightly different profile, from other nationalities and from those who can speak other languages, like English and Spanish. I’ve been a volunteer since the beginning of the World Cup project and I have always believed that volunteer work is the reason great events are a success. At the Confederations Cup, 7,000 other people also believed that. We hope this can now be repeated.”