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FIFA Confederations Cup

Valcke: Good to test venues in advance

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, during an interview at the Soccerex in Rio de Janeiro
© Getty Images highlights the key points of a recent interview with FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke about the FIFA Confederations Cup, the FIFA World Cup, and the important relationship between the two.

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke
On Brazil’s preparations for the FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup:
The preparations are in full swing, we have created a good structure now with the LOC Board meetings every six weeks. Of course, some of the stadiums will be only ready in mid-April, which is a challenge, but for the FIFA Confederations Cup we will manage, as it does not have the same magnitude as the FIFA World Cup.

Expected number of visitors for FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup:
It’s very difficult to say for the FIFA Confederations Cup, as typically there are more local fans, but we have Italy, Mexico and Spain, among others, who will have fans travelling. For the FIFA World Cup, we expect about 500,000 fans, who will mainly follow their respective teams and we must ensure that they have an optimal setting to travel from city to city to attend their desired matches. That is why we are working hard to make sure all is perfectly organised.

Expectations for the Confederations Cup:
People often think a World Cup match is just like any other league game, but the number of requirements is huge to cater for the large interest. The FIFA World Cup is a magnet; it draws attention and people. The day after the Confederations Cup final, we will review what has worked and where we need to approve. With the help of the Confederations Cup, we hopefully limit the challenges during the World Cup to a minimum.

Six venues at FCC:
It’s the first time since 2002, that we will have six venues. It’s an opportunity, but also a challenge, as we do need more infrastructure and more resources for the Confederations. But it is very good to test six World Cup venues a year in advance, in particular, the Maracana, venue of the two finals.

Business opportunities:
The 2014 World Cup is sold, the only thing you can buy are tickets. The sponsorship packages are basically finished for 2014, we have sold all six FIFA Partners until 2014, some already until 2022 and one until 2030. We are close to finalising most for 2018 and 2022, and it is amazing that, in fact, in a world which is facing hard times, there is no decrease in value. The only difficulty is the TV market in Europe, Spain particularly, as we have not yet sold the rights for the Confederations Cup and the World Cup. FIFA is doing well and we give all the money back to football.

You cannot organise a World Cup without thinking about sustainability. The Football part is a minor part, most of the investments in a host country are for general infrastructure in that country, like telecommunication, airports or roads. And the other aspects is our responsibility to reduce the environmental impact to a minimum. We are investing to neutralize our carbon footprint, to educate people. FIFA is spending $50million USD over four years on sustainability and corporate social responsibility on top of the $800million USD we spent on football development.

We see it our mandate to rebuild football infrastructure which has been destroyed. We will also rebuild the stadium in Gaza, which has been destroyed. Football brings people together and we will support any re-construction necessary when football infrastructure is destroyed through disasters.

*The IFAB has approved the use of technology, limited to goal-line technology. There are two systems that will be tested in Japan at the FIFA Club World Cup. Subject to the installation tests being passed, the magnetic field-based system of GoalRef will be used in Yokohama, while in Toyota, Hawk-Eye will install its camera-based technology. Following the conclusion of the competition, FIFA will analyse all the results in January, and then look to make a decision in spring 2013 regarding which system will be utilised at the Confederations Cup.

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