During the FIFA, LOC (Local Organising Committee) and Federal Government visit to the Arena de Sao Paulo stadium and the surrounding area of the Itaquera district on Monday, members of the delegation and Sao Paulo officials spoke to representatives from the media about their impressions regarding the progress of work at the venue that will host the FIFA World Cup™ Opening Ceremony on 12 June 2014. Here is what they had to say:

Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
“There are two main points to be seen in this stadium: a legacy for the area surrounding the stadium that is undeniable, as well as the fact that it is a stadium fundamentally for football: built for football and the people of football. There has been unbelievable progress. Seven weeks ago we were concerned, but seeing this beautiful pitch, we are confident. I can confirm that the stadium will be delivered within the timeframe, in order for us not only to host the Opening Match of the FIFA World Cup, but also host test events prior to the competition.”

Aldo Rebelo, Minister of Sport
“This project has been brought to life in an area with the lowest development index in the city of Sao Paulo and helps to encourage the entire region, thanks to urban mobility work, the educational hub, and everything that is set to accompany growth in this part of the city. The six stadiums that have already been built have already increased the average attendance for the Brazilian Championship (Campeonato Brasileiro), and the fact is that Brazil deserved and needed a stadium such as this.”

Bebeto, LOC Board Member
“I was here six months ago, and what we saw today was impressive. I would like to congratulate all those working on the project, without which the stadium would not be what it is. The pitch is perfect. I’m really delighted.”

Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, LOC Board Member
“It is an honour to come back to a project that I have been a part of since the beginning. The workers should all be congratulated: work of this magnitude without serious accidents is a great achievement. I would like to remind everyone that, aside from the stadium, a legacy for the future will be left to the population – particularly those from the Itaquera district – of urban mobility and education, with a faculty and technical schools.”

Andres Sanchez, Corinthians Stadium Representative
“The most important thing about the stadium is that it will transform the East Zone (Zona Leste) as a whole. It is this that we wanted to fight for, to overcome a lack in investments. We are going to finish the stadium on 30 December, as agreed, and in February Corinthians will already be playing games here. From that moment on, test events will be able to be run.”

Julio Semeghini, Sao Paulo State Secretary of Planning and Regional Development for the World Cup
“It is important that the R$430m (US$178m) invested in the development of the East Zone is valued. It is for us to make sure we put on a great World Cup and, especially, for us to continue improving living conditions in this area of Sao Paulo.”

Nadia Campeao, Sao Paulo City Deputy Mayor and Special World Cup 2014 Committee (SPCOPA) Co-ordinator
“The stadium that will host the World Cup opening ceremony is a reality. All those involved are to be congratulated for putting up such an impressive building in such little time. When you arrive here, it is inevitable that you think not only about the 30 days that the tournament will be held here, but about all the years during which this region of the city will benefit from a great stadium. It is our business to think about the legacy that will remain for the area.”