The interest of over 200 countries in World Cup tickets, the high attendance rate at World Cup stadiums, the reopening of vacancies in the FIFA Volunteer Programme, the possibility of additional flights between host cities and progress of construction works were some of the points touched on in press conference right after the meeting of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Board, held this Thursday (22.08), at the Maracanã auditorium in Rio de Janeiro.
According to the Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, the visit made by FIFA, LOC and the federal government delegation to São Paulo, Curitiba and Manaus provided updated information about the progress of mobility and infrastructure interventions, as well as renovation and construction of stadiums. "All these cities have important legacies. In the case of São Paulo, we already knew of the university, vocational school and social benefits at the Itaquera neighbourhood. The same goes for Curitiba and Manaus. The visit gives us an optimist overview of the preparation related work”, stated the minister.
The FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke commented that the meeting was used to assess the work done for the Confederations Cup, with the aim of identifying what could be improved for 2014. Valcke reinforced the need for the six stadiums to be delivered by the end of the year, praised the quality of the pitch at the Corinthians Arena and mentioned that there was a debate over the possibility of increasing the number of flights during the World Cup host cities during the tournament. “This is important not just for us, but for Brazilians, fans and delegations”, he said.
According to the Minister of Sport, new decisions about flights involve the participation of airlines, sector associations and the government itself. “We’re working with all alternatives to guarantee a World Cup with the highest level of comfort as possible, air mobility capacity for tourists and delegations”, he said. “We’re working on this now to arrive at satisfactory solutions”, he stated.
Over 200 countries
FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil produced the figures for the first 24 hours of ticket sales for the 2014 World Cup. According to him, 2.3 million tickets were requested, with 84.4% of applications being made by Brazilians. “In order for you to have an idea in relation to previous World Cups, in 2006 we had 500 thousand requests in 16 hours. In 2010, in South Africa, there were 500 thousand requests after ten days”, stated Weil.
After Brazil, the countries with the biggest number of requests are Argentina, United States, Chile and Colombia. In this phase, which finishes on 10 October, there is no need to rush. All requests are collected and at the end of the period, for matches that had more requests than there are tickets a random selection draw will be held. For now, the matches with the biggest number of requests are the opening in São Paulo (372 thousand) and the final in Rio de Janeiro (344 thousand).
The president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the Local Organising Committee José Maria Marin commented on what he defined as the new stadiums’ sport legacy. According to him, since the end of the Confederations Cup there have been dozens of events held in the six new stadiums, between football matches and cultural activities. “We’ve had 42 events in the six stadiums. A total crowd of almost one million people at football matches, in addition to concerts. The over 26 thousand people per match attendance average is similar to the Spanish League and higher than the biggest average we’ve ever had in the Brazilian Championship. The National Mané Garrincha Stadium is already being referred to by the local press as a gold elephant, with an attendance rate of over 40 thousand people per match”, he stated.
Former forward Ronaldo, member of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Management Board, announced that the FIFA Volunteer Programme for the World Cup will be reopened on 9 September at an event in Cuiabá.
Ronaldo recalled the success of the programme at the Confederations Cup, when 130,919 people applied in the first window and informed that the background of those selected will be different for the World Cup, as fans from over 200 countries have applied for tickets.
“At the Confederations Cup there wasn’t a need for a lot of volunteers who spoke many languages. At the World Cup, we’ll need volunteers who speak Spanish, English and other languages”, he explained.