After attending the latest board meeting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee (LOC) in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, LOC Chairman Jose Maria Marin and the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport Luis Fernandes gave a press conference.

The event also saw the presentation of the Official Brazil 2014 Poster and the tournament’s six Ambassadors: Amarildo, Bebeto, Carlos Alberto, Marta, Ronaldo and Mario Zagallo.

FIFA.com reveals what was said to the press.

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke
“We have seen a stadium that is ready (the Castelao), we have seen a venue where there is still work to be done but where a commitment has been made to deliver it on 21 April, which is Brasília, and we have met mayors and state governors in three cities (Brasilia, Fortaleza and Salvador). We have also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Ministry of Communications, guaranteeing that telecommunications across the country, including a 4G system, will be of a high standard during the FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup.

“We’re are moving further and further into the implementation and handover phase and we’re at the stage where we’re overcoming a few challenges. One of them concerns temporary infrastructures, a topic we have discussed at all the venues. Temporary infrastructures are crucial to the FIFA World Cup. A FIFA World Cup match is totally different to any other football match. The reason for that is the amount of people involved, the number of journalists and the number of dignitaries. The level of organisation for a FIFA World Cup match cannot be compared to that required for games in any other competition, not even qualifying matches.

“We are certain that all the stadiums will be ready for the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup. We even received an update from our technical team in Manaus confirming that significant progress has been made at the stadium and that they are talking about handing it over in around December this year. Manaus is moving back in line with the initial deadline we requested for the stadiums. The work being carried out now is more to do with the surroundings of the stadiums.”

Brazil 2014 LOC Chairman Jose Maria Marin
“It is a very special day for all of us. Quite apart from what we have seen – on the inspection tour, the first match played at a FIFA World Cup, in Fortaleza, and the progress at the stadiums in Brasilia and Salvador – we are taking significant strides with regard to the sporting legacy of the FIFA World Cup, which goes far beyond the beautiful, modern stadiums being built for it. For the first time, the country’s network of training centres is being mapped, from the north of Brazil to the south, with the aim of giving the 32 national teams who will be coming to Brazil in 2014 options to choose from.

“The second version of the National Team Training Centres (CTSs) catalogue is now ready and features 16 new approved hotels and training grounds, which means we’ve reached a total of 70 options, six more than required by FIFA. The international visibility gained by the selected CTSs ought to be highlighted as part of the FIFA World Cup legacy.”

Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport Luis Fernandes
“The LOC board meeting and the inspection tour were both very important because they took place at the start of the 500-day countdown to the FIFA World Cup and at a time when our first major event, the FIFA Confederations Cup, is approaching fast. We are entering a decisive phase.

“It was also very important to have reports on the event-preparation infrastructure. We had two presentations at the LOC meeting: one on airport modernisation initiatives and another on the progress of initiatives undertaken by the government and their partners for guaranteeing effective power supply during the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup. We can confirm in both cases that the steps being taken will ensure that everything will work perfectly at both events.”