Following a Board meeting of the Local Organising Committee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ today, Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and Ronaldo answered questions at a media briefing at the Royal Tulip Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. FIFA.com looks back at what was said.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo:
I presented, for the first time, an updated view about the meaning of the FIFA World Cup and the government actions to secure an environment of collaboration between FIFA, LOC and the federal government. I have re-assured the FIFA delegation that the FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be a success.

This is a unique window of opportunity for Brazil to be more respected worldwide. This is our huge and necessary opportunity to upgrade our engineering skills on construction and our telecommunication technology as well as to put Brazil back on the tourism map.  It was an atmosphere of collaboration and debate always trying to find common ground toward integrated action between the government, FIFA and the LOC. 

In regards to the 2014 Bill, we are very optimistic that we will accomplish this mission in March. We had the presence of Vicente Candido and Renan Filho, the President Special Commission to discuss the last final points of the bill text. My optimism is based on the commitment of the special commission for the FIFA World Cup and the House of Representatives that they will vote on the bill in the beginning of March.

On tickets
The allocation of tickets for the FIFA World Cup is of concern both for FIFA and the government. Tickets for this event are precious as it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – Brazil organised the 1950 FIFA World Cup and now it comes back 64 years later. The access is limited due to the capacities in the stadiums and as such it is important to ensure that all Brazilians will have a fair chance of access. It is such an important party for this country, it is most likely the most important event on the planet. We need to find adequate solutions and there is lots of cooperation and effort to find them from all parties.

We have discussed this bill now for such a long time. All the cards are on the table and there is a lot of willingness from the commission, the ministry of sports and the government to fulfill what we have committed to in the eleven government guarantees. This bill is not only for FIFA, but the whole host country.

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke:
It was a very good start for 2012. I definitely hope that the Minister of Sport will be part of all the board meetings until 2014 because such an exchange of information on that high level is crucial for all parties involved and very beneficial. I want to point out again that there have never been and there are no tensions between the government and FIFA. The discussions we have are normal in the preparation of an event of the magnitude of the FIFA World Cup and I can tell you that we have these kind of discussions even for the FIFA Futsal World Cup and other events.

In today’s meeting we got a comprehensive report from Minister of Sports Aldo Rebelo on the governmental  preparations. We talked a lot about public transport and how the government and cities plan to organise the movement between the cities. The stadium reports showcased that we have only one stadium that needs closer monitoring, namely Natal. But there is no doubt at this stage that Natal is one of the 12 FIFA World Cup venues. We simply have to keep monitoring it more closely and the city needs to speed up as they are very late.

Furthermore, we have received a very detailed report on the team base camps. The interest is huge from the various cities in Brazil to host one of the 32 teams during the FIFA World Cup - 237 applications were received, 30 did not fulfill the 30 criteria required to host a FIFA World Cup team and were eliminated. More than 100 have already been visited, 80 more will be visited in the next months. The teams will have very good options in the catalogue prepared to see where they want to put up their camp during the event. Six teams have already visited some choices, more will come in the next months. At the end it is down to each team to select where they want to stay.

I am convinced that the matter of the ticketing policy will be solved by the next board meeting in March and as the Minister said we are confident that we will be finalizing the final open matters by March so we can focus from there onwards to the operational aspects in ensuring the best FIFA World Cup ever in 2014.

On the Official Slogan and Mascot
Today we also discussed the Official Slogan and Official Mascot - both very important icons for the FIFA World Cup. Therefore it was and is crucial that in the whole decision process LOC, government and FIFA are together. The official slogan and the official mascot represent and must reflect all Brazil worldwide. I can tell you that all agencies involved are Brazilian companies and provided FIFA, LOC and the government with various options. Today we found a kind of pre-agreement and in March we plan to launch the slogan by President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA President Blatter.

Ronaldo, LOC Member of the Board of Administration:
It was my first participation in the most important meeting of the organization. Today we discussed the planning of the committee here in Brazil. The cooperation with FIFA has been wonderful. It has been wonderful to go on the road and feel the energy of the Brazilian people.

There is nothing defined on ticketing, we went through a couple of options, and all depends on this Bill 2014 in order for us to continue with finalizing the ticketing policy.