This Wednesday morning (04.12), at a press conference in Costa do Sauipe, the Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo highlighted the importance of the 2014 World Cup to reinforce the cultural diversity and tolerant characteristic of the Brazilian people. “We’re a country with great cultural and ethnical 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 meeting 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 during Media Day, event that is part of the World Cup final draw programme.
Rebelo was also questioned about the greater level of visibility that problems in Brazil end up reaching, as a result of the number of media professionals in the country due to the big sporting events. “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. If we’re comfortable with the tragedies? Of course not, nor 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 and qualities”, he answered.
Rebelo also explained that three out of the six stadiums being renovated or built for the 2014 World Cup would have been delivered in December this year, according to the original timeframe. However, because of the President’s schedule, official opening ceremonies for the stadiums in Manaus, Natal and Cuiabá had to be transferred to January 2014. “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 restraints in the president's schedule, I asked for these three stadiums to be delivered in January. IIn 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 works 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 test events to be conducted”, stated Rebelo.
The Minister made an analogy to marriage to address the issue of stadiums. “It is a party for two people. At every single wedding I’ve been to, the bride was always late. And the wedding always went ahead despite this. It is possible that one or two are delayed, but the most important thing is that they’ll all be delivered", he added.
Concern for violence in Brazilian cities was another issue addressed by foreign journalists and commented on by the Minister. According to Rebelo, Brazil has urban violence related problems and faces it as it can, but he 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, so as 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 rapped. This is deplorable. But governments and police forces try to respond to this. 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 places the world over in many different forms”, said Aldo Rebelo.