Within eight days of the process opening, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee (LOC) announced that it had already reached its target number of 90,000 applications for the Volunteer Programme, which includes the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and the draws for the two events.

The deadline was extended until Friday 21 September, however, a full month after it began, giving more potential candidates with a variety of different profiles the chance to apply.

“I heard about the Programme on television and I decided to register,” said Fabiana da Silva, who lives in Sao Paulo. “I’d been thinking for a while about how I could take part in the World Cup in my country because I love football. I smile every time I walk past the new stadium that’s being built (Arena de Sao Paulo).”

Fabiana has something in common with one of Brazil’s FIFA World Cup heroes. Like Cafu, the captain of the side that won the country’s fifth world title, she lives in the Sao Paulo suburb of Jardim Irene. Aged 32 and the mother of five children, she has worked in the past on a building site, at a carwash and as a checkout assistant.

“I always tell my children that we need to learn more about things and I think this would be a great experience,” added Fabiana, one of the 62,879 women to apply to the Programme, some 48% of all applications.

The overall total of 130,919 applications is a record for the Volunteer Programme, exceeding the 48,000 applications for Germany 2006 and the 70,000 for South Africa 2010. Some 97 percent of the candidates said they wanted to work at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and 76 percent at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013.

“We were confident the Volunteer Programme would be a success because Brazilian people are well known for their willingness to help others and their passion for football, but we never imagined receiving as many as over 130,000 applications,” said LOC Operations Director Ricardo Trade. “We see that kind of response as yet another example of just how hard it is to gauge the sheer level of expectation and excitement the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is generating among people.”

Aside from the many thousands of candidates from Brazil’s 26 states and the Distrito Federal of Brasilia, 7,450 people also applied from overseas, with four Spanish-speaking countries leading the ranking: Colombia (908 applications), Argentina (509), Spain (504) and Mexico (500).

“Quite apart from the opportunity that major sporting events provide as a cultural exchange for volunteers, the participation of people from other countries means that we can meet requirements in areas where language skills are needed, such as competitions and relations with the media,” commented the LOC’s Volunteer Programme Director Rodrigo Hermida.

“I love Brazil,” said Colombian national Jose Sarmiento, who works as an aircraft mechanic   in Manaus and is just one of the many thousands who have registered as a volunteer for 2014. “My daughter is Brazilian and I’d like to set an example to her by playing my part in an event that is vitally important to tourism and the development of the Amazon region.”

It is expected that some 7,000 volunteers will be required for the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013 and 15,000 for the FIFA World Cup. The LOC will contact candidates applying to work at the FIFA Confederations Cup from November, with the next phase in the selection process scheduled for December. That schedule will be the repeated for the FIFA World Cup selection process next year.

A breakdown of the Volunteer Programme application statistics is provided below: 

Top ten Brazilian states:
Sao Paulo: 33,208 applications
Rio de Janeiro: 18,763
Minas Gerais: 13,247
Distrito Federal (Brasilia): 8,496
Bahia: 8,228
Rio Grande do Sul: 7,069
Ceara: 5,903
Pernambuco: 5,543
Parana: 4,935
Amazonas: 4,299

Top ten countries (excluding Brazil):
Colombia: 908 applications
Argentina: 509
Spain: 504
Mexico: 500
USA: 482
Poland: 458
Peru: 331
China: 282
Germany: 247
Ukraine: 165

Age groups:
16-25: 67,449 applications
26-40: 44,871
41-64: 17,812
Over 65: 787

Gender (number of applications):
Women: 62,879
Men: 68,040