For the first time, the Brazilian people have experienced a match on a 2014 FIFA World Cup™ stage. Sunday saw fans from traditional local clubs Fortaleza and Ceara witness their teams playing at the familiar, though hugely transformed Estadio Castelao. As expected from such a passionate audience for football, the fans in the stands provided a flavour of what is about to come in June, during the FIFA Confederations Cup.
FIFA.com presents the main quotes of the authorities who attended the event.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
“I was told about the strength of football here in the north-east region of Brazil, but one has to feel it to fully understand. I cannot wait to be back in less than five months for the FIFA Confederations Cup.
“It is good for the first time not to talk about the construction works, but to actually see a football match at a stadium that will host the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup. We are happy to see that the stadium is ready for everyone to use.
“We have things to test and there will be test events. There is a large amount of space around the stadium and we have the feeling that everything will go well. This is an amazing arena.
“From the commitment we received from local authorities and the Brazilian Government through the Sports Ministry, we are confident that all stadiums will be delivered on time. However, we must work on the surroundings of the stadiums and public transportation, which is something we have all been discussing with the host cities."
Jose Maria Marin, president of the Local Organising Committee
“The Estadio Castelao is the first stadium of a series of 12 that will be the greater representation of the sporting legacy of the FIFA World Cup. This is a very special gift for the people of Ceara, who are passionate about football and have a tradition of filling the stadiums.
“Today’s match, the first at a 2014 FIFA World Cup stadium, is proof of how Fortaleza has worked well. We are looking forward to working together with them in a test event scheduled in three-months’ time that will be key for the operational success of the FIFA Confederations Cup, next June.”
Aldo Rebelo, Sports Ministry
“The state of Ceara receives today a stadium as great as its tradition in football and presence in the national scenario. We did a visit here with foreign journalists and they were all very impressed particularly with the cities from the north-east and their culture, food and friendliness.
“In Fortaleza, the population will benefit from the legacy in terms of infrastructure, urban mobility, income, business opportunities, jobs generated, etc.”