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BRAZIL’S MINISTER OF SPORT DISCUSSES WORLD CUP AS OPPORTUNITY TO CELEBRATE BRAZIL’S DIVERSITY AND CLARIFIES DELIVERY TIMEFRAME OF WORLD CUP STADIUMS
Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo expresses “our wish for a more tolerant and peaceful world through football.”
BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL (4 December 2013) – At a press conference held today in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil’s Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo highlighted the importance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to reinforce the cultural diversity and tolerance of the Brazilian people. He also provided more details on Brazil’s timeframe for the delivery of the stadiums, and addressed concerns regarding social violence.
Celebrating Brazil’s Diversity
“Brazil is a country with great cultural and ethnic diversity, and very united at the same time. We want the World Cup to be a moment when racism is fought against, reinforcing what sport represents: fraternity and an opportunity for different people to meet. Players promote this exchange on the pitch and we need to promote this on the streets, stands, expressing our wish for a more tolerant and peaceful world through football,” said the Minister.
Stadium Delivery Timeframe
Minister Rebelo also explained that the inauguration ceremonies for three out of the six remaining stadiums being renovated or built for the 2014 World Cup originally scheduled for December this year – those in Manaus, Natal and Cuiabá – have been moved to January 2014 due to the President’s schedule.
“Out of the six stadiums that were not used at the Confederations Cup, three were supposed to be delivered in December 2013, but I talked personally with the governors. The delivery date proposed had been 20 December for Manaus, 19, 21 or 30 December for Natal and 20 December onwards for Cuiabá. Because of constraints in the President’s schedule, I asked for these three stadiums to be delivered in January. In relation to the other stadiums, there was the accident at the Corinthians Arena, a delay in the transfer of funds to Curitiba, and problems in the conclusion of construction at the ground’s surrounding area in Porto Alegre. Nonetheless, I can tell you that the grounds shall be delivered with plenty of time for tests to be conducted,” stated Minister Rebelo.
Making an analogy to marriage, Minister Rebelo added: “It is a party for two people. At every single wedding I’ve been to, the bride was always late, but the wedding always went ahead despite this. It is possible that one or two [stadiums] are delayed, but the most important thing is that they’ll all be delivered.”
Addressing Safety Concerns
Concern for violence in Brazilian cities and the impact on Brazil’s international reputation was another issue discussed at the event.
According to Minister Rebelo, Brazil is addressing urban violence actively, and reinforced that the debate should take other forms of violence around the world into consideration.
“What we experience here is social violence, a deplorable thing that we need to fight against to make sure that it does not stain our population, and not only because of the World Cup. Nobody feels comfortable when gangs of criminals mug people on the beaches, or when tourists are mugged or raped. This is deplorable and our governments and police forces are actively trying to respond to this. But when this debate crops up, all forms of violence need to be presented so that my country doesn’t come across as the only place where this happens. Violence takes place the world over in many different forms.”
In response to inquiries about the international media’s focus on negative issues that may impact perceptions of Brazil, the Minister said: “We’re not worried about that. We know that this higher level of visibility may show negative points in the country, but it may also show a lot of positive points. Are we comfortable with the tragedies? Of course not. Not with what happened at the Corinthians Arena, nor with the violence that devastates our daily life. We’re not comfortable with that and we’re adopting policies to face these phenomena. We want the press to see our defects, but they will also see our virtues.”
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