Friday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee (LOC) Management Board meeting in Florianopolis was followed by a wide-ranging press conference. Speaking to the media were FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, LOC Chairman Jose Maria Marin, Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, FIFA Director of Marketing Thierry Weil and LOC Management Board member Ronaldo. reveals what they had to say.

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke
“It has been an important week because this is the last event prior to the week leading up to the World Cup, when we hold the FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo. It’s been important because we have reconfirmed Curitiba as a Host City and because we have reached an agreement with Porto Alegre regarding additional structures. There is still a lot of work to be done in both cities. We’ve seen a wonderful stadium in Manaus, and in Natal we need to make sure that we have the necessary test events. We’ve had an extremely productive board meeting today, with some very meaningful updates on transport, temporary structures at airports and urban mobility.

Demand for tickets has been very high, with demand from fans overseas very strong in general. We have to make sure that these fans have all the facilities they need to enjoy a great World Cup. We have a lot of work to do and we are working at full speed.

Brazil is the Mecca of football and the sport is like a religion here. This World Cup will be unique simply because it is being staged here in Brazil. Speaking as a football lover, if there is one place in the world where I would want to organise and watch the World Cup, then that place is Brazil.”

LOC Chairman Jose Maria Marin
“I am convinced that the representatives of the 32 national teams will leave Florianopolis full of confidence and looking forward to the start of the FIFA World Cup. They will be confident because our operational teams, FIFA and the federal government have given them all the necessary information and have put their minds at rest about services and operations relating to transport, security, logistics, accommodation, training and the competition itself. And they are looking forward to it because during their time here in this beautiful region they’ve been able to see just how happy we are and just how much of an effort we are making to stage a great competition. It will be their job to ensure that happens on the pitch, while our mission along with FIFA, the government and the Host Cities will be to guarantee the very best services are available off the pitch. We will continue to work hard in our bid to organise an unforgettable World Cup.”

Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo
“We are moving ever closer to the big event that Brazil and the whole world are waiting for: the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. We are now coming to the end of the process whereby the actions and initiatives central to the success of this event are being implemented. It is my belief that in preparing for the World Cup, Brazil is creating the conditions by which it will be able to meet the very highest expectations of the country itself and the world as a whole, namely by staging a very successful event.”

“Brazil is the Mecca and the Vatican of world football. Brazil has made its own very special contribution to football becoming the world’s number one sport, as it is a place where many different civilisations have been able to come together as one. The football we offer to the world is more than just a sport. It is a driving force for social inclusion. We gave Pele to the world and our clubs are national institutions.”

FIFA Director of Marketing Thierry Weil
“We’ve had 3.5 million applications from 199 countries, and 80 percent of them have been from Brazilians. We have allocated 473,076 tickets during this second draw phase, with 290,186 of them being allocated to the 32 member associations taking part. We have so far allocated 1.5 million tickets to the general public: 57 percent of them to Brazilian fans and 43 percent to fans overseas, taking the number of tickets allocated overall to 2.3 million. That means that a lot of people will be coming to Brazil to support their teams.

One point we always make is that is the only place where tickets may be bought. It would be awful for a fan to buy tickets from an unofficial channel and then be denied admission to the stadium. We have set up mechanisms allowing fans to resell their tickets in the event that they are unable to attend or to pass them on to other people.

As regards the FIFA Fan Fast, in this last week the mayor of Recife gave a press conference saying that the city will not be staging one, which surprised us, though we firmly believe there will be FIFA Fan Fests in all 12 cities. We are 100-percent certain that once we have spoken to Recife they will be right back on board with us.”

LOC Management Board member Ronaldo
“It was great to have the president, Dilma Roussef, at the opening of another World Cup stadium. Nevertheless, we cannot forget about additional structures, which are very important. We have been emphasising how important it is that we reach an agreement as soon as possible with the Host Cities so that we can have these structures in place. A solution has already been announced in Porto Alegre and we are pleased about that because it’s vital that we have these additional structures at World Cup matches.

We know that only a small part of the population will be able to attend the stadiums. These lucky people will be very happy for sure. That said, the FIFA Fan Fests are a wonderful opportunity for everyone to take part in the party and we have to make sure people can participate in all of them.

We have seen that the vast majority of Brazilian people are in favour of the World Cup. We need to show the minority that are against it why the World Cup represents a fantastic deal for Brazil.”