The Local Organising Committee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ held a key executive meeting at the Zona Oeste hotel in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. Up for discussion were issues relating to the organisation of preliminary events and the tournament itself.

The status meeting was first of its kind to be staged in Brazil and the latest of several similar meetings that have been held regularly since 2010. In attendance was the entire LOC Management Board, including Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, and several members of the federal government, among them the Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo. He was joined by the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport, Luis Fernandes, who is also in charge of matters relating to the World Cup, and the Acting President of the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) Jose Maria Marin.

Also present was a delegation of FIFA executives featuring Secretary General Jerome Valcke, their brief being to discuss technical aspects. All were later agreed that it had been a highly productive get-together, one that once again underlined the complete understanding between the main stakeholders involved in the organisation of the tournament.

The meeting was opened by the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee Ricardo Teixeira who offered a warm welcome to former Brazil idol Ronaldo, who was taking part in his first official meeting with FIFA. “He has recently had the chance to see from close quarters how work is progressing and that everything is on schedule.”

Speaking afterwards, Valcke stressed the significance of the Minister of Sport’s presence at the meeting: “It was a very good meeting, an excellent way to start 2012, which is a key year in the organisation of the FIFA World Cup. It was very important to have the minister here, and I’d like to point out once again that relations between FIFA and the federal government have always been excellent. I’m very pleased that we’re walking side by side with them and in the right direction.”

It was a very good meeting, an excellent way to start 2012, which is a key year in the organisation of the FIFA World Cup.

Valcke, FIFA General Secretary

Emphasising the federal government’s commitment to coordinating its actions with FIFA and the LOC in preparation for the FIFA World Cup, and to moving ahead with matters relating to the General World Cup Act, which is currently being debated by the National Congress, Rebelo had this to say: “The federal government is firmly committed to completing this process, possibly as early as March, and has the decisive support of the speaker and the National Congress.”

During the meeting both FIFA and the LOC’s inspectors expressed their satisfaction at the progress of the stadium construction projects, which are largely on schedule, and praised the high standards of Brazil civil engineering industry.

In other matters Sao Paulo was confirmed as the host city for the FIFA Confederations Cup draw, which will take place in December this year. The venue for the draw has yet to be announced, with several options currently under consideration.

March was set as the deadline for announcing the slogan for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The basic concepts to be expressed by the slogan were discussed by the LOC, FIFA and the federal government and take into account some of the country’s key characteristics: social cohesion, capacity for innovation, amazing nature, a land of happiness and a football nation.

Also on the agenda were operational issues relating to FIFA’s headquarters during the FIFA World Cup, which will be situated in Rio de Janeiro, with several locations currently being looked at. Meanwhile, the Riocentro will house the new offices of the LOC and FIFA. The move will take place later this year.

The meeting also set out the process for the selection of the National Team Training Centres (CTSs). During the first two registration periods, which took place in 2011, the LOC received 237 applications, 82 of which will receive visits from inspection teams. The first centres to be approved will sign agreements with the LOC in March.

The following were some of the other important items that came up for discussion at the meeting: the details of the marketing plan for the FIFA World Cup, the programme for the protection of brands and the FIFA Fan Fests, the strategy for the FIFA World Cup sustainability programme, and the most pressing requirements in terms of telecommunications, IT, transport planning and traffic.

The next status meeting of the LOC Management Board will be held in Brasilia in March and will also be attended by representatives from FIFA and the federal government.