On Sunday 27 January, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke will embark on the first leg of a tour that will take him once again to all 12 Host Cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ during this calendar year.

The first stop will be Fortaleza, where he will, together with Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, LOC President Jose Maria Marin, LOC Board of Administration members Ronaldo and Bebeto, and FIFA Executive Committee member Marco Polo Del Nero, attend the first Host City test event at a 2014 FIFA World Cup arena with two Copa do Nordeste matches to be played at the completely remodelled Castelao.

“During this upcoming trip, we will celebrate two landmarks – the first official test event for the FIFA Confederations Cup, and the celebrations to mark the 500-day countdown to the World Cup kick-off on 12 June 2014,” said Valcke.

“In fact, we have entered the finishing straight in our preparations for these extremely important events in the home of the five-time world champions. I am very excited to be able to experience these special moments personally in Brazil.

We have entered the finishing straight in our preparations for these extremely important events in the home of the five-time world champions.

Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General.

Valcke was referring in particular to Monday 28 January and the 500-day celebrations in Brasilia when the last remaining visual icon of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will also be unveiled, namely the Official Poster.

As Brasilia will also provide the stage for the opening match of the FIFA Confederations Cup between Brazil and Japan on 15 June 2013, the delegation will also take the opportunity to visit the capital city stadium and receive a status report from Governor Agnelo Queiroz.

On 29 January, the delegation will then continue its tour to the next Festival of Champions’ Host City, Salvador, where the delegation will receive a latest update on their preparations followed by a stadium visit. The four-day trip will end in Rio de Janeiro on 30 January with a board meeting of the Local Organising Committee.

You can read interesting facts and figures on the 500-day countdown to the FIFA World Cup by clicking the relevant link on the right hand side.