FORTALEZA: Brazil has managed to ‘deliver’ the first of its 2014 World Cup stadia after all the doubts and controversies.
President Dilma Rousseff unveiled a plaque marking the completion of the renovation of 63,903-capacity Castelão Stadium in Fortaleza which will host six World Cup and three 2013 Confederations Cup matches.
Later this week the redeveloped Minerao in Belo Horizonte will also be ‘unwrapped.’
Rousseff said: “This stadium shows that Brazil is capable of winning on and off the pitch. [The Castelão] shows that Brazilians are capable of overcoming obstacles and delivering a project of this magnitude.
“A lot of people said that we weren’t capable but today we have started to show them that we are and the stadium has been delivered – and I’d like to remind you of one thing: Today we inaugurate the stadium at a very special moment of hard work, luck and victory, when Corinthians have been crowned the champion of the FIFA Club World Cup. This fact, regardless of any other, shows that Brazil is capable of two things: winning on the pitch and building a stadium of this high standard.”
Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said, “By delivering the first stadium for the 2014 World Cup, the city of Fortaleza and the state of Ceará are an example of how capable we are of hosting the biggest sporting event in the world. And doing so competently, meeting deadlines, and with a project that combines architectural beauty, modernity and efficiency.”
The governor of the state of Ceará, Cid Gomes, emphasized that the stadium was delivered without any financial overruns and ahead of schedule.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter sent a video message of congratulations to the Brazilian authorities and the people of the state of Ceará.
He said: “The total renovation of the Castelão represents an excellent example of the partnership between the federal, state and municipal governments, as well as the Local Organizing Committee and the Brazilian people.”
The first match of the Confederations Cup in Fortaleza on June 19 is a guaranteed sell-out, a London 2012 ‘return’, between Brazil and Mexico.
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