|BELO HORIZONTE: Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Greece, Algeria, Iran and Costa Rica also drawn to play in Belo Horizonte during Group Stage
Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 6 December 2013: Excitement for the 2014 FIFA World Cup increased significantly in Belo Horizonte after the draw determined that England will return to the city – the scene of their greatest World Cup upset – for a group game against Costa Rica.
England sensationally lost 1-0 to USA at the Independência Stadium, Belo Horizonte during the 1950 FIFA World Cup – the last time the tournament was held in Brazil.
The full list of group fixtures that will be played in Belo Horizonte are;
Colombia v Greece – Saturday 14 June 2014
Belgium v Algeria – Tuesday 17 June 2014
Argentina v Iran – Saturday 21 June 2014
Costa Rica v England – Wednesday 24 June 2014
Hosts and tournament favourites, Brazil, will also play their last 16 game in Belo Horizonte if they win Group A.
All six games, including a semi-final, will be played at the newly renovated Mineirão Stadium – a 62,160 seat venue and one of the first grounds to be ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Belo Horizonte’s football fans – renowned for their passion and love of the game – have had plenty to celebrate this year with the city’s top two domestic clubs, Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro, sensationally winning the Campeonato Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores, respectively.
Success on the pitch has also been replicated off it, with Belo Horizonte receiving praise from FIFA for their preparations ahead of next year’s tournament.
Speaking after the 2014 FIFA World Cup draw, Camillo Fraga, Municipal Secretary for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ – Host City, Belo Horizonte, said:
“We are delighted with today’s draw and I’m sure that the people of Belo Horizonte will welcome all of teams and their supporters with open arms. The fact that England will return here after the famous match in 1950 also adds a great deal of extra excitement.
“2014 will be a huge year for the city of Belo Horizonte and we must ensure that we deliver what will be a wonderful festival of football while building for the future. Our aim is to create a lasting legacy of major global sports events and infrastructure improvements that will benefit the whole of our region.
“Belo Horizonte is a very proud sporting city and we also have many cultural attractions that travelling fans will be able to enjoy. The weather here is perfect for football and our location in the centre of Brazil means that the city is very accessible. We are all looking forward to next year and welcoming fans from all around the world.”
Elmo Cordeiro, a ball boy during the England v USA match in 1950, said:
“I’m delighted that England will return to Belo Horizonte 64 years since they famously lost here at the 1950 FIFA World Cup. I know that the people of Belo Horizonte will welcome the England team and all their fans. This is an exciting time for me and a great moment for the city.”
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Note to Editors:
Named ‘World Bar Capital’ by The New York Times, Belo Horizonte is also famed for its many cultural delights. The city is home to many works of celebrated Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and
Looking beyond the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Belo Horizonte will also play a key role in the delivery of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by hosting a selection of matches in the Olympic football tournament, while Team GB athletes will also use the city’s top class facilities to train and prepare ahead of South America’s first ever Olympic Games.
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