With just 1000 days remaining before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ gets underway, the planet’s biggest football fiesta is entering its project-completion phase. And once this countdown is complete, the 32 participating nations will begin their epic struggle for the right to be crowned world champions for the next four years.
Brazil is already starting to look like a country that is ready to host a FIFA World Cup. Stadiums that are either modernised or brand-new are set to play host to Planet Football’s most spectacular performers spanning the 12 Host Cities. The list is as follows, with the stadium names in brackets: Belo Horizonte (Mineirao), Brasilia (Estadio Nacional), Cuiaba (Arena Pantanal), Curitiba (Arena da Baixada), Fortaleza (Castelao), Manaus (Arena da Amazonia), Natal (Arena das Dunas), Porto Alegre (Beira-Rio), Recife (Arena Pernambuco), Rio de Janeiro (Maracana), Salvador de Bahia (Arena Fonte Nova) and Sao Paulo (Arena de Sao Paulo).
However, plenty more has also been achieved since Brazil were awarded the right to host the competition back on 30 October 2007. Already 1417 days have passed since the FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announced that Brazil would host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the next FIFA World Cup, which was founded on 2 January 2009, has been working hard for some time to ensure everything is in place come 2014. Nearly 70 people are currently working together on the competition’s organisation, and that is without counting consultants from Arena (providers of technical support on pitches and stadiums), law firm Barbosa Mussnich & Aragao, as well as the auditors from Ernst & Young, who keep up a real-time supervision of the LOC's accounts.
Work on the stadiums continues to progress apace and even those venues that were experiencing difficulties at the start of this year, such as the Arena das Dunas and the Arena de Sao Paulo, are getting back on track in terms of the time-frame established alongside the LOC.
What is more, there have been a number of studies carried out on the match calendar for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will be announced in October 2011. Along similar lines, other important pieces of information have also come to light, such as the location of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), which will be situated in the Riocentre convention centre in Rio de Janeiro.
The selection process for the Official Training Pitches (COTs) is in its final phase, with more news on this expected in a matter of days. Across the country, a number of locations that could host National Team Training Centres (CTSs) are also undergoing thorough inspections, with an initial list of approved facilities to be unveiled this year. Additional signing-up periods for new facilities wishing to throw their names into the hat will be held in 2012.
Further accomplishments have been the number of seminars and studies that have been carried out in a variety of fields, such as transport and transit, playing surfaces, marketing, fan fests, security and volunteering.
In July 2011 Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro hosted arguably the first major event of the 2014 FIFA World Cup – the Preliminary Draw – which set out the qualifying trail for teams across Planet Football. The event was broadcast in nearly 200 countries and offered a small taste of the joy, fun and colour that we can expect at the 2014 global showpiece on Brazilian soil.