Over the course of 2012, the entire world will be ever more involved in preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, with the year set to feature vital landmark dates in the build-up to the showpiece event. The Brazilian public in particular will have the opportunity to witness first-hand a series of key preparatory activities.

In the wake of UEFA EURO 2012 and the Olympic Games in London, and once the eyes of the world have turned back to Brazil, the official mascot for the 2014 finals will be chosen. The official slogan, meanwhile, which organisers intend to use to project the event’s profile to every corner of the globe, will be unveiled in the first half of the year.

Also coming in the opening six months of 2012 is the application process for the volunteer programme, which is still being designed. Some 80,000 applications are expected, from which 18,000 people will be selected to perform a variety of support roles at Brazil 2014. Volunteers are considered to be a crucial part of the staging of a FIFA World Cup.

Coming up in the second half of the year will be the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 draw, which should take place in November or December. The settings for this draw and the Final Draw for Brazil 2014 – with the latter scheduled for late 2013 – will be decided upon in the first half of 2012. Another eagerly-anticipated feature of the build-up to the two competitions relates to ticket sales, with the tickets for FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 going on sale from late 2012.

The level of organisation is this intense so that, come 2014, both Brazilians and people the world over can enjoy a great festival of football.

LOC President Ricardo Teixeira

Also to be defined over the coming year are the kick-off times of the matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, as well as the dates and kick-off times at Brazil 2013. In terms of the latter event, an important decision relating to the involvement of two further host cities – in addition to the four already selected back in 2011 – will be taken over the course of 2012. It will thus be revealed whether or not Recife and Salvador will host games at the prestigious competition.

Plenty of hard work certainly lies ahead in 2012 in preparing the operational side of both events. It will be a year of operational integration for the various spheres of action coordinated by the Local Organising Committee (LOC), which will become gradually more and more decentralised across the 12 Host Cities of Brazil 2014. This process will lay the groundwork to ensure operational readiness come 2013.

By the end of 2012, the first of the 12 stadiums to be used at Brazil 2014 should have been finished, while there will be two further inscription phases – one in the first half of the year and the other in the second – on the road towards selecting the potential National Team Training Centres (CTSs). The definitive shortlist of available CTSs will be presented in 2013, with the final choice going to the 32 participating national teams.

“The FIFA World Cup is getting closer and more and more people are getting involved. Even more life will be breathed into the event in 2012 with the launch of the mascot, the slogan and the volunteer programme,” said LOC President Ricardo Teixeira.

“Operational projects will gather pace in order to be able to carry out all the tests necessary come 2013, the year of the FIFA Confederations Cup, which features major national sides and is being prepared for just as carefully [as the FIFA World Cup]. The level of organisation is this intense so that, come 2014, both Brazilians and people the world over can enjoy a great festival of football, one that future generations will also be able to enjoy.”