Preparations for the Opening Match of the Brazil 2014, the excitement surrounding the arrival of the teams and the players, and advice about how to avoid being ripped off by ticket touts were the subjects of a press conference for Brazilian journalists in Rio de Janeiro this Friday that included FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Local Organising Committee CEO Ricardo Trade, and FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil.

“The World Cup isn’t just a big event for FIFA, it’s also hugely important for Brazil,” FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke said. "dWe’re very close now. Soon we’re going to hand the tournament over to the players and the 32 teams. There is very little left to worry about. We just need to make sure the teams arrive safely and get to their training centres so they can begin preparing for the tournament. And may Brazil have a great World Cup, and go as far as possible,” he added.

Among the subjects discussed at the press conference were the test events at the Arena de Sao Paulo, where the opening match of the FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Croatia will be held on 12 June. One more game will be played at the stadium before the World Cup, which will take place on 1 June during the FIFA Exclusive Use Period.

“If the Opening Match wasn’t going to be held at the stadium then perhaps we wouldn’t organise another test event. But it’s vital that we know everything is working properly. We don’t normally allow games at stadiums during the FIFA Exclusive Use Period, but we changed the rule so we could test the temporary seating,” added the FIFA Secretary General.

LOC CEO Ricardo Trade also commented on final preparations for the biggest sporting event ever held in Brazil.

“We were very satisfied with the test event at the Corinthians stadium. It was one of the best we’ve organised so far, but another test will give us the opportunity to examine the areas which we didn’t operate at the first match. But we feel that everything is under control because the work we’ve done up to now has gone so well,” he said.

FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil was asked a number of times about the subject of tickets and ticket touts. Weil mentioned the 2,745,022 tickets allocated so far and the 535,768 requests from fans to have tickets delivered to their homes, 88 per cent of which have already been sent.

Weil reminded supporters that the only place to buy tickets is on FIFA.com, and that from 1 June it will also be possible to buy tickets from FIFA Venue Ticketing Centres. 

“Are we going to stop all the ticket touts?" Weil said. "Probably not. But we’ve been very successful in terms of selling World Cup tickets on the internet. My advice is not to take risks. Don’t buy tickets on the black market. If we find out, you’ll be stopped and will be prevented from entering the stadium."

When asked about Brazil, Jérôme Valcke said that he intended to come back after the FIFA World Cup and explore places that he hadn’t had time to visit yet.

“To be honest I generally get off the plane, go to a stadium, have a meeting, go to the hotel, and then get on another plane. This week I visited three cities on the same day. I haven’t had the chance to visit a lot of places, so I hope I can come back and get to know more of the country,” he said.