FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and Brazilian football icon Ronaldo successfully kicked-off the first leg of their 2012 roadshow today at the Ministry of Sports in Brasilia. Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo welcomed the FIFA and LOC delegation and used the occasion to conduct a very constructive meeting to discuss this year’s milestones on the road to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.
During the meeting, where the FIFA Secretary General was also accompanied by FIFA’s Marketing Director Thierry Weil, FIFA’s Communications Director Walter De Gregorio and Jörg Vollmüller, Head of FIFA’s Commercial Legal Department, the group agreed to have a further follow-up meeting to discuss the open 2014 Bill points in more detail on Thursday, 19 January in Rio de Janeiro.
Following the meeting, Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, the FIFA Secretary General and Ronaldo answered questions at a media briefing at the ministry. FIFA.com looks back at what was said.
Aldo Rebelo, Minister of Sports:
It is a great pleasure on behalf of the government to receive our dear friends Ronaldo and Jérome Valcke. I want to reassure everybody of the willingness and commitment of the President of Brazil and the government of Brazil to make any effort to make the 2014 FIFA World Cup a success. The event does not require a special explanation - it speaks for itself - its passion and the huge desire and expectations it inspires among the Brazilian people. We also want to make it the most accessible ever. The FIFA Football is part of the national identity of Brazilian people, we must always take into account what it represents for the Brazilian people, for our nation and, in fact, we have one of the greatest representatives of this national identity here today [Ronaldo].
There are many initiatives and projects currently going on. Because of its importance we have created a special committee which is responsible for the FIFA World Cup, including all the various ministries. There are many aspects to be considered such as stadium construction, which is going ahead well. The last point about stadiums to be solved was Porto Alegre, which now has a date for resuming construction on 25 of January. We are also proceeding with urban mobility and we also have a strong commitment from the Congress to vote on the 2014 bill in the first part of March. Yes, there are still one or two points to be solved, but it will done.
Ronaldo, LOC Board Member:
I am very pleased to be here with you today, we have a long agenda ahead of us for the FIFA World Cup. We are here to showcase that we - FIFA, LOC and the government - are completely aligned and we have only one single goal to have the best FIFA World Cup ever staged in Brazil.
I am optimistic because of the strong will of everybody to showcase that we Brazilians are not only great footballers but that we are also great organisers. We want the Brazilian people to be proud to receive the FIFA World Cup and all the investments which, if not for the FIFA World Cup, would take many years to be achieved.
I will also be part of the strategic decisions of the LOC, as I will be part of the three-man Board of Administration formed of Chairman Ricardo Teixeira, me and a third member still to be assigned who will represent the decision-makers of the LOC.
Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General:
It’s great to be back and start 2012 with a visit to Brazil. As Ronaldo said we have only one goal: to organise a successful FIFA World Cup. Today we have only one picture in mind, and with “we” I mean the LOC; the government and FIFA together. There is nothing wrong in our relationship in organising jointly this FIFA World Cup in 2014.
Last week we had another important meeting with Romario in Zurich. It is essential that we have the possibility to discuss these issues face-to-face regarding this famous 2014 bill. The three of us - Ronaldo representing LOC, the Minister of Sports representing government and myself representing FIFA - will very soon finalize this chapter. It is important to finalize this law, as the FIFA World Cup is not all about this bill.
We have to start working on the operational aspects, finalize the ticketing strategy, the preparations in the 12 host cities and focus on all the various aspects to ensure a smooth staging and what I believe will be a great FIFA World Cup, especially if Brazil wins this FIFA World Cup at home in 2014. It is time to sign, we are very close. On Thursday, when we will meet again Rio with the Minister of Sports, Romario and other high representatives of the governmental stakeholders to work out the last issues and wordings.
The liability is important for us because you will understand that FIFA cannot be responsible for security and safety and consequences of natural catastrophes or other threats. This is one of the basic powers of the state, one of the responsibilities of government. But I am sure we will manage to solve the basic two open issues, namely liability and ticketing, in all our interest. We must move on - it is time for the baby to be born.