Tuesday was a landmark day in the organisation of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ and the securing of the legacy of both tournaments.
In hosting a press conference in the city of Salvador, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee (LOC) opened the application period for the Volunteer Programmes, which will attract thousands of Brazilian people and foreigners keen to play their parts in staging the two events.
“It is the volunteers who help create the sense of joy and celebration that surrounds the FIFA World Cup,” said LOC Operations Director Ricardo Trade. “Up until yesterday the LOC was a small team of nearly 100 employees. As of today, though, there’ll be thousands of us, all working towards the same objective.”
“It’s going to be a busy process and everyone will be working hard to ensure that the FIFA World Cup Volunteer Programme brings together many different cultures, just as Brazil itself does,” added Rodrigo Hermida, the head of the programme.
For his part, Bahia State Governor Jaques Wagner said the Host Cities are preparing to put on a show and that it is passion of the people that gives the FIFA World Cup its soul: “The volunteers add spice to the whole spectacle. They’ll be able to tell their grandchildren and great-grandchildren that they helped organise the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.”
At this stage it is expected that some 7,000 volunteers will take part in next year’s FIFA Confederations Cup, with another 15,000 helping out at Brazil 2014. Prospective volunteers can also apply for associated events such as the draw for the Confederations Cup, which will be held in Sao Paulo this December, and the FIFA World Cup Draw, scheduled to take place in late 2013 at Costa do Sauipe, in Bahia.
Following this initial 15-day application period the number of applications will be counted, with the LOC’s technical team then making a decision on whether to extend the period or not.
Working at the stadiums and other official FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup facilities, the selected volunteers will help out in areas such as communications, catering services, transport, protocol, accreditation, IT, press operations, hospitality, medical services and competition services.
Luis Fernandes, the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport, explained how the programme will unfold and the role of volunteers in helping fans and visitors find their way around: “The selection process coordinated by the LOC and FIFA will be followed by the launch of the second phase of the programme, which is fully integrated with the first and will be overseen by the federal government. The Host Cities will be playing their part here by ensuring visitors can get around at airports, transport and tourist areas and at FIFA Fan Fests.”
Former Brazil star Ronaldo, a member of the Management Board of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil LOC, spoke of the welcome people can expect: “The time has come for the people of Brazil to embrace the FIFA World Cup. I’ve seen for myself that the success of this event depends on the commitment of the local people, as they’re the ones who provide the face of each World Cup. In our case that face is going to be a happy and welcoming one, showing a lot of love for football.”
“There will be 15,002 volunteers in 2014 because Ronaldo and I will be devoting part of our time to making a dream come true: taking part in a FIFA World Cup in our country,” said Bebeto, a fellow member of the Management Board of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil LOC. “A lot of people ask what you get out of being a volunteer, and I can safely say from my own experience that money is nothing compared to the joy and pride you feel at being part of this team. I invite Brazilian people and foreigners alike to apply to come and do their bit alongside us.”
Applications are welcome from everyone, regardless of their gender, skin colour, sexual orientation and age, though applicants must be at least 18 years old three months before the two competitions begin and available to work for 20 consecutive days. The LOC welcomes diversity in the workplace and the inclusion of people with special needs.
Nearly 90,000 applicants will take part in online training, which, in the case of the Confederations Cup, will begin this December. Volunteer groups will be finalised in January and February next year and allocated to the Host Cities in March, with volunteers then receiving their training in April and May. The Volunteer Programme for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will follow a similar schedule, starting one year later.
Shifts will be up to ten hours long. Applications from people living outside the 12 Host Cities and from other countries are welcome, although successful applicants will have to pay for their transport to the city where they will be working and their accommodation.
The LOC will provide volunteers with transport around the city in question, meals during their shifts and a uniform. At the end of the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, volunteers will receive a certificate and will be invited to a party held in their honour in each of the 12 Host Cities.