The visit made by the joint FIFA/Brazil 2014 Organising Committee (LOC) delegation to Cuiaba on Tuesday was the last stop of a year-long tour of the 12 cities that will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke was joined by LOC Management Board members Ronaldo and Bebeto and the Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, as he paid a visit to the Arena Pantanal to inspect ongoing work at the stadium and to meet with the governor of Mato Grosso, Silval Barbosa, and the city’s mayor, Mauro Mendes.
The delegation also inspected the Sefaz overpass, which is fast approaching handover and forms part of the infrastructures being built for the light rail network. This particular project is just one of many that will play an essential role in improving urban mobility in Cuiaba during next year’s world finals and beyond.
Measuring 278 metres long, the horseshoe-shaped overpass features two traffic lanes in one direction only and will improve traffic flow in the city in an area where the light rail network, which will comprise 33 stations on its 22.2km route, will also run.
After making their way to the Arena Pantanal, the delegation members made a symbolic handover of tickets for the world finals to two of the workers who have helped build the stadium. The two recipients in question were Kell William Estulano, who has spent more than three years working at the site, and Durval Fernandes da Silva, a member of the Project for the Training and Social Integration of Former Slave Workers, who has been working at the arena for the last 16 months.
Workers involved in the construction or refurbishment of the 12 stadiums to be used at Brazil 2014 will each be given a ticket for a match held in their respective cities.
At the end of the day’s proceedings in Cuiaba, the dignitaries attended a press conference. Here is what they had to say:
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke
“We spoke about deadlines at this morning’s meeting and we have confidence in the message we received from the host city.
“I don’t want to compare the host cities but Cuiaba is a special place. It has shown that it knows how to make the most of the opportunity to host the FIFA World Cup and take the city to the next level, drawing on the event to create a legacy.”
Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo
“We have confidence in the efforts being made by Cuiaba City Council and the state of Mato Grosso to get the city ready for the FIFA World Cup. The construction projects are going to create a great legacy for the city, not only in terms of sport but in urban mobility also.”
Silval Barbosa, governor of Mato Grosso
“We are making a concerted effort to meet the agreed deadline for the handover of one of the FIFA World Cup’s most beautiful stadiums. We are working hard to bequeath a legacy to our people, among them the urban infrastructures we are creating. We want the fans of the teams who will be coming to Cuiaba after December’s draw for the finals to know that they need have no worries about buying tickets for the Arena Pantanal. As well as receiving a warm welcome from friendly people, they will also have much to see and do.”
Mauro Mendes, mayor of Cuiaba
“Cuiaba will be one of the finest examples of the FIFA World Cup’s legacy. No other host city has undergone such a great transformation with regard to quality of life as our city. We have done justice to the trust that was invested in us as a host of the greatest event on the planet.”