When announcing Brazil’s success in their bid to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, the President of world football’s governing body Joseph S. Blatter underlined just how impressed he was with the Brazilians’ approach to some of today’s most relevant topics – such as the environment and sustainability. Within this context came another vital issue for the competition’s Organisational Committee (OC) to tackle, and one on which discussions have already begun: accessibility.

Indeed, OC representatives have already enjoyed exchanges with Andrew Parsons, the President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB), with the aim of setting out a series of targets which ensure a first-class spectator experience for the disabled, the elderly and those whose movement is restricted by injury.

In the view of the CPB President, the OC’s willingness to tackle such an important yet sensitive issue is proof positive of Brazil’s determination to break new ground come the 2014 FIFA World Cup. “Never before has there been so much cooperation between a host nation’s Organising Committee and that country’s Paralympic Committee,” said Parsons.

We can help educate the country and create, via the World Cup, a culture of accessibility and an architectural concept which takes this issue into consideration.

Andrew Parsons, the President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee.

“We feel flattered that they have come to us. It’s a crucial time, because we’re discussing the laying down of technical rules concerning accessibility for sporting events in Brazil. This affects a very large section of the population, which is made up of the physically handicapped, the elderly, the obese and those recovering from injuries. These people are consumers and their rights as citizens are being respected.”

Over and above the discussions concerning accessibility during Brazil 2014, the CPB President also sees the next FIFA World Cup as an opportunity to set down a marker and leave a legacy of accessibility for future generations. “It’s important that issues like this are covered at a World Cup, because a big event always leaves its mark.

"We can help educate the country and create, via the World Cup, a culture of accessibility and an architectural concept which takes this issue into consideration. We’re happy to take a solid step in that direction and move on from talk to action."