ZURICH: FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke says that the world federation, its liaison staff and the Brazilian 2014 World Cup organisers have “rolled up their sleeves” ahead of the rush to make sure the country is ready to stage the Confederations Cup next year and then the 2014 finals.
Reporting on his flying visit earlier this for the launch of the World Cup slogan – All in one rhythm/Juntos num só ritmo – ” and a Confederations Cup schedule, Valcke said: “It was really good to be back not only for official events but moreover for very important formal and informal working sessions with the key stakeholders, in particular the host cities and states.”
Valcke’s last scheduled visits to Brazil were cancelled after the ill feeling created by his comment in March that the country’s politicians and sport leaders needed “a kick up the backside” over prolonged preparatory delays.
A high-level Brazilian delegation visited Zurich for clear-the-air progress talks early last month.
Valcke said: “Since the summit in Zurich on 8 May 2012 we have developed an integrated modus operandi between the key stakeholders. We have now seen the first concrete results achieved: namely the set-up of working groups such as for airport and ground transportation to ensure that an adequate infrastructure will be in place for 32 teams, the thousands of fans and other key stakeholders, such as the 17,000 plus media representatives who will attend the event.
“With the support of FIFA ‘s experts, detailed assessments are ongoing across all the host cities by the LOC and the respective government entities to map situations and develop operational plans based on various scenarios such as for the Opening Match, quarter-finals or for games with teams with large supporter groups.
“We have also created priority lists for projects which are integral for the World Cup and Confederations Cup. The latter will be the benchmark in terms of what to expect in 2014. From the players to the world’s media – and for the ‘Festival of Champions’ no less than 5,000 media representatives of the press will attend the 16 matches. They all will put us – FIFA and the host country under scrutiny – from the point of arrival to matters such as internet connectivity.
“We have now all rolled up our sleeves; Bebeto and Ronaldo and their LOC colleagues, the Minister of Sports and his team as well as my FIFA team. The warm-up is over, we have a set game plan, and nominated our joint-line up. In less than four weeks I will be back for the LOC board meeting in Brasilia and will use the occasion to visit some host cities together with the LOC and the Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo.”
# # # #