Millions of people worldwide will tune in to find out which opponents will be grouped with their country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. To give a sneak preview of the draw and to explain how the event will unfold, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) gave a backstage tour to the press on Monday 2 December, at the Costa do Sauipe venue in the state of Bahia. The show will be broadcast live in 155 countries on Friday at 1pm local time (5pm CET).
Luiz Gleiser, Head of TV Globo, acted as the tour guide and is the man responsible for the artistic management of the show. After a collective interview, which also involved the Head of FIFA Films, David Ausseil, the Bahia State Secretary of the FIFA 2014 World Cup, Ney Campello, the Events General Manager of the Local Organising Committee, Ana Helena Silveira, and Margareth Menezes, one of the star musicians performing at the show, Gleiser took the journalists to the hall where the draw will take place. He showed them the stage and the press facilities and talked about the challenges of making sure an event of such magnitude went off perfectly.
Gleiser told journalists that the show drew inspiration from the five pillars that symbolise Brazil: a cohesive society, a joyful country, vibrant football, exuberant nature and the power of innovation.
“These are the guiding ideas behind the Final Draw. They show the diversity of Brazil and this is very important,” said the TV Globo boss, before presenting each of the musical performers and the event hosts, Rodrigo Hilbert and Fernanda Lima.
The musical show will start with Alcione and Emicida singing Brasil Pandeiro, composed by Assis Valente. The second attraction is the duet of Vanessa da Mata and Alexandre Pires singing 1 a 0, by Pixinguinha, one of Brazil’s foremost pop song writers. The renowned choreographer Deborah Colker will then present a reworking of O Jogo, one of the scenes from the award-winning Velox contemporary dance show, which recently commemorated 20 years of success. Local singers Margareth Menezes and Olodum will close the festivities with the vibrant We are Carnival, one of the most popular songs of Bahia carnival.
“Seeing Brazil receiving this great event and to be part of this is a huge honour. This is a party that is being put together with lots of love.”
The representative from Bahia state government, Ney Campello, highlighted the importance of hosting the FIFA World Cup Final Draw for the state.
“Through the World Cup Draw we are consolidating Bahia’s image to the world and are putting ourselves out there as one of the major international tourist attractions,” he explained.
A trip down memory lane
To show how the ceremony has evolved, hand-in-hand with the development of football and the World Cup itself, David Ausseil revealed a little of the history of the Draw and revealed some curiosities. For example, in 1938 the grandson of Jules Rimet, the FIFA President at the time, helped to take out the balls containing the names of the teams. In 1974, a German boy who took part in the draw caused astonishment around the world when he placed West Germany and East Germany in the same group, perhaps anticipating that in the future the two would be reunited as one nation.
He also pointed out that the Final Draw is not limited to the musical attractions: "Holding a successful draw is FIFA’s main goal and it is crucial that every member of the 32 countries at the tournament feels part of a fair process. But we also want the show to provide good entertainment and to make the Brazilian people and the spectators around the world feel proud of what they are watching.”
The World Cup Final Draw is certainly an event that leaves its mark on passionate football fans. Everybody can remember certain moments from past editions, but the Events General Manager of the LOC, Ana Helena Silveira, has an especially close link to the event. Ana is the granddaughter of Rivadavia Correa Meyer, president of the Brazilian Football Federation in 1950 and one of the men who helped bring the World Cup to Brazil for the first time.
“I’ve spent my whole life hearing stories about the 1950 World Cup, about my grandfather’s role in it and today I am in charge of the World Cup Final Draw. I’m really happy about that,” she said.
Silveira also talked about the meticulous preparations: “More than 2,700 people are involved in it, 200 of whom are volunteers. Without them the event would not be possible.”