Joseph Blatter: “I can safely say that this World Cup is a success”

03/07/2014 - 02:05
FIFA President and the Minister of Sport attended the opening ceremony of a sport management seminar at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation this Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro

Getty Images#FIFA President praised the structure, the party atmosphere and partnership with the different government levelsFIFA President Joseph Blatter stated that the success of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in undeniable. He praised the structure offered by the country to host the tournament, the party atmosphere at the host cities and the partnership with the federal, state and municipal governments. Together with the Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, Blatter attended the opening ceremony of the Third Sport Management Seminar of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, this Wednesday (02.07) in Rio de Janeiro.

“When you work with partners like government, based on trust, it's easy. We still have eight games to go, so let’s hope that they are played in the same standard and with the same atmosphere we’ve experienced until now. Everything is great, the stadiums are magnificent. I can safely say that it’s a success. Where are all the problems everyone was talking about before? All that remains for me to do, is to thank the Brazilian people, who accepted the World Cup", said Blatter.

The importance of the tournament was pointed out by the Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo by recalling the round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States, held on Monday (01.07), which led to a change in the White House’s schedule for the day. “Brazil is fortunate to host and celebrate the most important event on the planet: the World Cup. It is not just the greatest, most awaited event, that brings together hopes and wishes, the World Cup is a sporting and geopolitical event, that attracts to the same region different countries, like the USA and Iran to engage in a positive agenda. The World Cup is capable of changing the schedule of the Department of State of the most important country in the world. And even though the USA has been eliminated, authorities stopped to send congratulatory messages to the athletes. And the message was one of pride", he said.

The World Cup figures were also praised by the minister, like the records achieved in TV ratings, as well as the exchange of information and data over the internet. For Aldo Rebelo, the event may also lead to legacy for Brazilian football.  “The World Cup is able to beat all records in relation to the posting of information on social networks and TV ratings. And Brazil has the opportunity of hosting this event, with the prospect of changing and reforming the sport, making football in the country take up the challenge of professional management, without losing its essence and becoming only a good. This event is capable of lifting football in relation to sport economic settings, as well as the country's economy".

The Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Sport Luis Fernandes, stated that the plan for the World Cup was put to the test and responded successfully. “We've had 56 games so far and there are only eight to go. Thirty-two teams were here and now there are only eight. Now, we only have six host cities. Our plan was put to the test and we were successful in all levels. I’m not going to assess this qualitatively, because we’ll provide an assessment after the World Cup, but if the predicted chaos had indeed occurred, those responsible would have been blamed for lack of planning. However, the opposite does not happen. If chaos didn't take place it wasn't because we planned well, but because God is Brazilian or people are passionate about football. Of course, this passion helped in the atmosphere experienced in the World Cup, but it doesn’t ensure that millions of people will be able to fly around the country and arrive at games. It also doesn’t ensure public transport, which provided access to the stadiums, nor power and telecommunications. This is the result of years of planning and work”, assessed Fernandes.

The planning work for the World Cup went through three cycles, the first started in 2009, when the 12 host cities were chosen. “The first cycles referred to longer construction works like airports, mobility projects, ports and stadiums, which were listed in a document, the Responsibility Matrix. This document didn't represent the cost of the World Cup, because from a FIFA point of view, the requirements for the tournament were only the grounds, telecommunications, power, airports and temporary structures", explained the secretary.

Luis Fernandes also pointed out that the World Cup was an opportunity for the country to anticipate and speed up investments in strategic areas. “What was not essential for the staging of the World Cup was an autonomous decision by the Brazilian state to anticipate investments necessary for the country, like the strategic plan for speeding up growth”, he stated.

The second planning cycle took place between 2011 and 2012 and was aimed at service structure, while the third stage referred to the consolidation and integration of World Cup operational plans. “What we’re seeing now with operations for staging the games is the consolidation of at least five years of planning. This governance structure is another legacy for Brazil’, said Fernandes.

Through the World Cup Executive Group, made up of the ministries linked to the mega events, the federal government coordinated with states, host cities and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to plans various areas of operations to make sure they worked. The following areas were part of the planning effort: telecommunications, public security, ticket distribution, health, culture, sustainability, volunteers, energy, urban mobility, airports, tourism and accommodation. “The milestone of preparation was integration. The concept of a sole operation, of everyone or no one being successful together, based on different perspectives”, he concluded.

For the Confederations Cup there were two integration rounds, which involved 29 federal government bodies, 90 local agents and a thousand managers. The plan was repeated for the 12 World Cup host cities, involving two thousand managers in 177 meetings, which resulted in 475 identified tasks to be completed.

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Gabriel Fialho - World Cup Portal

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