The Arena Sao Paulo in Itaquera was the first stop on FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke’s tour of the 12 host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Accompanied by Brazil's Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Management Board member Bebeto and Cafu, captain of the squad that won Brazil's fifth World Cup, Valcke met with local authorities at Sao Paulo city hall before visiting the stadium itself.
FIFA.com brings you the highlights of the press conference from the Arena Sao Paulo.
*FIFA Secretary General, *Jérôme Valcke“The opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place at this stadium in just four months and three weeks. This morning’s meeting was really productive. We talked about that match and the other games that will be played here. The stadium would probably be ready by now if it wasn’t for the terrible accident that took place. We’ve supported the local authorities as much as possible right from the start and we’re delighted with the progress that has been made.”
“Ticket requests for this FIFA World Cup have beaten all the records. We have had around ten million requests, if you include all the different sales phases. It shows how attractive Brazil is to visitors. Everybody wants to be here.”
Brazil's Minister of Sport, Aldo Rebelo“As we get closer to the World Cup and the Opening Game here at the stadium of Corinthians, the more expectations in Brazil and around the world grow with respect to our preparations for the event. This part of Sao Paulo has the lowest human development index in the city, but the investment and improvements in transport and urban mobility infrastructure will lead to an increase in residential, commercial and industrial property values. This was our aim and will be repeated all across Brazil. As President Dilma Rousseff says, it will be the best World Cup of them all.”
LOC Management Board member, Bebeto“I was very impressed with what I saw. The stadium is beautiful and we are definitely on the right track. I can’t wait to see the stadium packed for the World Cup opening game.”
1994 and 2002 FIFA World Cup winner, Cafu“I played in four World Cups and it’s wonderful to see a stadium like this being built in my city, and to know that the World Cup in Brazil will begin here.”
Corinthians representative, Andres Sanches“We had a few delays because of the accident but the stadium will be officially inaugurated by 15 April at the latest, and then we will have the rest of the month and the first two weeks in May to organise test events with the government, the city council and the LOC.”
Sao Paulo Deputy Mayor, Nadia Campeao“We had a meeting with the Mayor, Fernando Haddad, during which we gave information to the committee about the city council's preparations, with a view to being ready to host the World Cup and the opening game. We are conscious of the importance of the legacy of the event for the Zona Leste (East Zone) of the city, which includes tax incentives that will generate thousands of jobs and improvements in public life in the region.”
Sao Paulo State Planning Secretary, Julio Semeghini“By April work will be completed on a number of important projects to improve access to the stadium. We are working with Corinthians and with the World Cup organisers to carry out test events for the trains and metros that will be used during the event. This is an important partnership between the state and federal governments, the city council, and Corinthians.”