The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee met at the Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. Afterwards representatives from the LOC, FIFA and the Brazilian government took part in a wide-ranging a press conference. FIFA.com rounds up what they had to say.

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke

On temporary structures

“This time, instead of travelling around Brazil visiting the stadiums, we decided to stay in Rio de Janeiro for a series of organisational meetings that require our attention. Over the course of this last week we have been devoting our energies to finding solutions with regard to the additional structures in Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo. The situation has improved in Porto Alegre and we are going to organise ourselves so that we can help the city get everything ready soon. 

As for Sao Paulo, we’re still looking for a solution, though my understanding is that we should have one tomorrow (Friday). I am very optimistic and I have every confidence that the constructors (Odebrecht) will deliver the infrastructure at the stadium in Sao Paulo on time for the start of the World Cup in 77 days.”

On the final stage of construction work at the stadiums

“We still have a lot to do before the World Cup. Stadiums are an essential part of any World Cup. There are a lot of preparations that need to be done and FIFA is working with the Host Cities to make sure everything is ready.”

Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo

On preparations at the stadiums

“We’re all giving our undivided attention to the stadiums. We have confirmed test events at two of the three that have yet to be delivered: the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba and the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba. Sao Paulo will also be announcing its test event shortly.”

On airports

“As regards the issue of airports, I’ve visited the project sites and I think Brazil will be more than ready for the World Cup in this respect. Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador will be welcoming more than six million tourists altogether at carnival time, and at the World Cup we will have two million Brazilians and 600,000 visitors from overseas travelling around the country. We are in a very good position to give these people a warm welcome.”

Luis Fernandes, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport

“We are heading into a decisive phase in which we have to respond to the ever-increasing operational demands of the event. That is why we are working very closely with all the stakeholders. We need to forge even closer relationships to ensure the success of the event. FIFA, the LOC, the federal government, the state governments and the city councils are all involved.”

Brazil 2014 LOC President Jose Maria Marin

“It’s a major responsibility and a source of great joy to have the World Cup so close. The sense of expectation is growing every day for the nearly three million fans who have already made sure of their tickets. They include the construction workers employed at our stadiums, which makes us all very happy. At the request of the LOC, the constructors will be sending an exhaustive list of the names of all the people hired to work on the refurbishment and construction of the stadiums. Some 50,000 tickets have been set aside and will be passed on to the consortiums in mid-May. It has been agreed that the constructors will set the criteria for distributing the tickets and will hand them out. We are sure that when the time comes for Argentina to play Bosnia here at the Maracana the workers will create a very special atmosphere in the stands that they built with sweat and love.”

Brazil 2014 LOC CEO Ricardo Trade

“The World Cup is drawing nearer. You can sense it coming. Right now the LOC is preparing to hold test events at seven stadiums: Brasilia and the six that did not host matches at the Confederations Cup. We feel it’s important to test Brasilia again because we only had the one opportunity at the Confederations Cup. Test events are essential in allowing us to make final changes and ensure everything is ready for the World Cup. Our first test event will be at the Arena Amazonia and we will be assessing seven areas in total: safety and security, competition, transport, volunteers, cleaning and waste management, spectator services and technology.”

FIFA Director of Marketing Thierry Weil

On the number of tickets sold

We are now in the second phase of ticket sales, which ends on 1 April and in which we have already sold 295,387 tickets. Overall we have now sold 2.56 million tickets for the World Cup. The final phase starts on 15 April, with sales on FIFA.com only.”

On the Ticket Distribution Centres

“The Ticket Distribution Centres will open on 18 April in ten of the 12 Host Cities, with the opening dates in Brasilia and Porto Alegre yet to be confirmed. For the first three weeks the centres will open on Saturdays and Sundays only, after which they will open daily. From June 1 it will also be possible to buy tickets at the centres.”

Brazil 2014 LOC Management Board member Ronaldo

“I still have very high expectations for the FIFA World Cup. I’m very optimistic and excited. I’ve been travelling to Europe and there’s a lot of enthusiasm there for the World Cup. And when I come back to Brazil it makes me even happier to see how excited people are here. We’ve just been to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, an event that a lot of people were very unsure about. The same was true of the London Olympics and yet that was a great success too. There are a few people here who have their reservations about the World Cup, but we’re going to put on a great show. We are going to show the world our values and our culture.”

Brazil 2014 LOC Management Board member Bebeto

“Ronaldo and I have travelled across the whole of Brazil and we’ve always had a very warm welcome from the workers, who are fully deserving of our gratitude today. Without them the World Cup would not be possible. I’m very pleased to hear that they will be able to take part in this festival and that they have the right to a ticket to see the World Cup.”

Zico, the all-time leading goalscorer at the Maracana

“The workers can hold their heads up high and sleep easy because they’ve made an enormous contribution to the country. Instead of obsolete stadiums we now have modern and comfortable ones. Brazil needed to make a change in that respect and the World Cup has made it happen.”