RIO DE JANEIRO: So positive is the mood round the World Cup in Brazil that President Dilma Rousseff has apparently it will be safe for her to come out and present the trophy to the winners writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Rousseff’s popularity – like that of any politician after the initial honeymoon period – has dipped significantly over the past two years.
She was not amused to be booed and jeered at the Opening Match of the Confederations Cup, last year’s World Cup warm-up tournament, and was notably absent from the final in Maracana.
Rousseff was present at the Opening Match of the World Cup in Sao Paulo on June 12. Unlike South Africa four years ago – when President Jacob Zuma and FIFA leader Sepp Blatter took to the pitch – neither were involved in the opening ceremonials.
However, the positive turn of events of the past two weeks with no street protests on last year’ scale have persuaded her to take a positive view of attending the Final.
Now it’s just up to Luz Felipe Scolari to steer his team through to the Final and not then to slip up as did Brazil, infamously, in 1950.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s secretary-general, confirmed today in Rio: “The presenter of the trophy is the state President Dilma Rousseff and the FIFA president and also representatives of the winning confederations and of the teams who have played the final.
“It will be the normal medals ceremony in the stand as in past competitions.”
In fact, in 2006 in Berlin, the presentation was organised on a temporary stand on the pitch and there was an embarrassing hiatus before Lennart Johansson, Swedish president of the FIFA organising committee, thrust the cup into the hands of Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro.
Speculation that Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen would be involved n the presentation were wide of the mark. She and Carles Pujol, a member of Spain’s winning squad four years ago, will bring the trophy on to the pitch before the kickoff of the Final.