KEIR RADNEDGE in SOCHI: Brazil may be struggling to put all the World Cup infrastructure in place but Brazilians cannot wait for the 14-month football festival which kicks off in June.
Ahead of the Confederations Cup, which opens in 58 days’ time, and the 2014 World Cup, ticket sales for this year’s event are running at record levels and so are volunteer numbers.
The international media, attending the final day of 2013 AIPS Congress in the 2014 Winter Olympics host city, heard from FIFA’s media operations head Delia Fischer that 74,000 tickets had been sold in 24 hours and a record advance sale of 546,000 was already registered for the 12-game tournament in five cities.
Also, more than 130,000 World Cup volunteer applications had been received, almost twice as many as in South Africa in 2010 and three times as many as Germany in 2006.
The field of eight nations includes current world champions Spain and former World Cup winners Italy and Uruguay. An event promotion is being staged in Italy on Monday, in Turin, with 2002 World Cup-winner Ronaldo and the World Cup mascot, Fuleco.
Ronaldo, who played in Italy with Internazionale and Milan, is a member of the 2014 World Cup local organising committee.
FIFA officially starts ‘taking over’ the Confed Cup stadia on May 24, three weeks before the first matches, to oversee the installation of temporary venues such as media and hospitality centres.
The world federation has extended its visibility operations across the full range of social media via Facebook and YouTube.
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