At the first leg of the second Host City Tour of 2013, Recife had its efforts and hard work in the preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ praised by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, Ronaldo, member of the Board of Administration of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), and Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo. Together with Brazilian artist and FIFA Ambassador for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Romero Britto, the delegation took part in the hand-over of symbolic tickets to four construction workers involved in the construction of Arena Pernambuco.

Workers participating in the construction of the twelve 2014 FIFA World Cup stadiums will receive tickets to a match in their venue.

Arena Pernambuco is in the final stage of construction and will host three matches in the FIFA Confederations Cup. The first of them will be the Group B clash between European and 2010 FIFA World Cup winners Spain against Copa America winners Uruguay on 16 June. Three days later, European runners up Italy will take on Asian champions Japan in Group A. On 23 June Uruguay will be back to Recife to face Oceania winners Tahiti.

Following the stadium tour and the symbolic ticket hand-over, the delegation addressed the media. FIFA.com summarises the main statements:

Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
“I would like congratulate Recife for the work that has been done here. This project is an extension of Recife, a new part of the city and will bring new quality of life. I am very happy for that, it is a very important program.”

On the steps ahead:
“We have seen a huge effort to deliver the arena by the end of March. This is great. We want Recife to organize test events before the FIFA Confederations Cup to be ready for the tournament. It is for the best interest of all, Brazil, the competition and FIFA. Now we have to work on the pitch, to have a great pitch for the players who will come here.”

Aldo Rebelo, Sports Minister
“During the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Recife will be an example of how to receive and welcome people and also of competence. The work done in Recife does not surprise me, I never doubted Pernambuco would deliver this arena.”

Eduardo Campos, governor of Pernambuco
“I want to congratulate all the workers, the 4600 men and women who have worked hard to make this stadium come true. It was just possible because of the possibility FIFA and the Brazilian government gave to us when they chose Recife to be one of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil host cities. Even those who did not believe we could make it have helped us. Their disbelief made us stronger to work even harder to deliver the arena.”

Geraldo Júlio, mayor or Recife
“I feel moved coming here and looking at Arena Pernambuco almost ready. I was telling Ronaldo that Brazilian players will have the possibility from now on to play in football like this because of the FIFA World Cup. It will be something very important for the development of Brazilian football.”

Ronaldo, LOC Member of the Board of Administration
“Once again it is a great pleasure to be here. The arena is beautiful and I want to praise everyone for the work they have done. We are on the right track. Thank you all.”

Romero Britto, 2014 FIFA World Cup Ambassador
“I am very happy to be here because this stadium represents the future. It is a great opportunity to see it happening and a reason of joy to be here today. I think the people of Pernambuco should feel honoured for having this arena.”