The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee (LOC) took part in Saturday’s test event at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, with Luverdense taking on Vasco da Gama in a Brazilian second division match. The local side emerged 2-1 winners, with their front-man Reinaldo having the honour of scoring the very first goal at the brand stadium, which was hosting its second official game following the 0-0 draw between Santos and Mixto on 2 April.

Watched by a crowd of 17,808, Saturday’s match allowed the LOC to partly validate operations in the following eight areas: cleaning and waste management, transport, spectator services, volunteers, catering, technology, competitions and safety and security.

Speaking afterwards, Brazil 2014 LOC Stadium Operations Manager Tiago Paes expressed his satisfaction with the tests. “We are pleased with how things went in each area and with operations at the Arena Pantanal overall,” he said.

“We are also aware, though, that we need to improve. The fact of the matter is that not everything worked perfectly, though it should be said that we didn’t expect everything to go 100 per cent to plan because this is only the Arena’s second game and the first LOC test event here. We know we need to improve and we’ll be doing that step by step.”

Paes pointed to the speed with which fans were able to access and exit the stadium, which in his opinion ensured that they enjoyed their match experience on Saturday. “We saw that fans arrived at and left the stadium with a minimum of fuss,” he explained. “That’s one thing that is sure to have made a good impression on them.”

Mauricio Guimaraes, the head of the state of Mato Grosso’s Special FIFA World Cup Secretariat (Secopa-MT), said he was pleased with the test event, but also stressed that there was much work still to be done. “As far as Secopa-MT is concerned, the match between Luverdense and Vasco was a second test,” he commented.

“We’ve made a lot of progress since the Santos-Mixto game, but we know that there remains a lot of work to do. We still have to finish installing the seats and there are a lot of things that need to be cleaned. We’ll be focusing on all that in the next few days. Generally speaking, though, operations at the Arena Pantanal ran smoothly.” 

The LOC’s next test events are as follows:

Natal, 3 May: America-RN v ABC, Brazilian second division
Cuiaba, 7 or 14 May: Mato Grosso state XI v Olimpia (PAR), friendly
Porto Alegre, 10 May: Internacional v Atletico-PR, Brazilian first division
Curitiba, 14 May: Atletico-PR v (TBC), friendly
Sao Paulo, 17 or 18 May: Corinthians v Figueirense, Brazilian first division
Brasilia, 17 May: Goias v Botafogo, Brazilian first division

Manaus will also host a test event, though the date and the teams taking part have yet to be finalised.