The venue of the opening match at the FIFA Confederations Cup, the National Mane Garrincha Stadium is now gearing up to host seven matches in the foremost competition of the planet’s most popular sport. The new stadium has already staged 28 events, attracting a total of 640,000 spectators. It is estimated that two thousand jobs are created for each game or show, which impacts on the local economy to the tune of 12 million Brazilian Reais.
On Monday 17 February, after visiting Manaus and before moving on to Porto Alegre, the delegation led by the FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, the Minister of Sport, Aldo Rebelo and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO, Ricardo Trade, was again in the Brazilian capital. Here are some of the main excerpts from the press conference after visiting the city’s stadium.
Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
"Brasilia is one of the cities that will host the most games at the World Cup, so it is a very important venue for FIFA and for the event. Everything has gone smoothly thanks to a very strong partnership with the mayor and I’m very happy with what I have seen. On 15 June Switzerland will play Ecuador and it will be an amazing occasion, not because FIFA is based in Switzerland but because Brasilia is an outstanding city."
Amenities and Curitiba update
"It is impossible to have a World Cup stadium without the proper supporting amenities. So far FIFA has not vetoed any of the stadiums. We are working with the host cities so that they are all used in the tournament. A team of technicians will be in Curitiba tomorrow. Our final decision will be based on their report."
"Just three more games will be played before the World Cup, which makes us confident that the pitch will be in perfect condition during the tournament. Everybody working at the stadium is committed to this goal. We had a very productive meeting where we talked about the seats, the infrastructures around the stadium and other details. The stadium itself is in good shape and the FIFA Confederations Cup taught us valuable lessons."
Aldo Rebelo, Minister of Sport
"I believe the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha learned a lot from the Confederations Cup experience. The organisation of the World Cup will meet the expectations of the world and of Brazil. The meeting we had today confirms the status of Brasilia as one of the 12 host cities, having meticulously prepared for the organisation of a great festival that Brazil will offer the world in 2014."
Fire in Cuiaba
"The report given to the Public Prosecutor does not state the fire compromised the structure. The Public Prosecutor has requested another report because the one the stadium construction company sent was not sufficiently detailed. I visited the stadium last week. The work on the fixtures and fittings is ongoing and all the concrete and metal structure is finished. We recommended to the stadium owner and the construction company that the venue be delivered so that the necessary test events can be held to check it is ready to host the World Cup games."
"Peaceful demonstrations are permitted by law. Demonstrations that put people’s lives or public property at risk are also regulated by law. With or without the World Cup it’s a question of applying the law. A cameraman was brutally murdered in Rio de Janeiro. The law is running its course and the two perpetrators will be prosecuted and brought to trial for the crime they committed. I see no reason for adopting measures other than those outlined by law to deal with the demonstrations, whether peaceful or non-peaceful."
Agnelo Queiroz, Mayor of Brasilia
"I am grateful for the visit to our capital, the stadium and the social amenities. All our talks were extremely fruitful because we are undertaking this project together. We look at this event as a great opportunity for economic development and the social advancement of our capital and our country. Investments are being made in public transport, hotels, the airport and services all over the city. The investments being made today will leave a legacy of development, jobs, productivity and a brighter future for our city after the World Cup. We have the chance to show Brazil’s capital to the whole world and to attract tourists and investors, boosting the economic development of our city and our country."
"The construction is on schedule to finish before the World Cup. We have just completed an important phase at the airport, making it one of the most modern airports in the country, with better transport to and from it. The area surrounding the stadium will also be improved. No construction work will take place during the World Cup, and the visitors and residents will have convenient, safe and user-friendly options to get to the stadium to watch the games."
Ricardo Trade, LOC CEO
"This is a landmark week for the organisation of the World Cup. We have gone on another tour of the host cities, visiting the beautiful stadiums of Manaus and Brasilia, the latter of which is fully operational. I would like to emphasise that 28 events have already been staged here, attracting a total of 640,000 spectators, almost double the figure of the previous stadium in 36 years. Each event generates jobs, which has a positive impact on the local economy. This is extremely gratifying because it leaves a legacy for the city. Brasilia hosted just one game at the Confederations Cup, but at the World Cup it has much more opportunity to shine."
"This week members from the technical committees of the 32 competing nations will also be visiting to take part in a seminar in Florianopolis to define the operating strategy of the teams in the World Cup. And at the end of the week the countdown to the big kick-off enters the final 100 days."