According to delegation made up of officials from FIFA, federal government and the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC), doubts related to Manaus are in the past. In a visit to the Amazonia Arena this Sunday (16.02), the FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke showed to be satisfied with the new stadium. From Manaus, the delegation goes to Brasilia (17.01) and Porto Alegre (18.01), to visit the National Mané Garrincha Stadium and the Beira-Rio.
“We’re a little over 100 days from the World Cup and this is the last opportunity to come to Manaus. There were many doubts: would it be ready? Why play in Manaus? Is it going to be too hot? Together with Manaus City Hall, the state administration, federal government and the Local Organising Committee, we’ve turned this into a great success”, said Valcke.
The praise came emphasising the importance of conducting test events, particularly because of Manaus' match schedule. “We're in the final stages of construction, before the stadium is delivered. Manaus will host one of the biggest matches in the first week of the World Cup, England and Italy. It could be the final. One of the most important games in the competition. The stadium will be 110% full. We have to have enough test events to be ready for the challenge”, reinforced Valcke.
Jewel in the heart of the Amazon
The Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Sport Luis Fernandes highlighted the pride felt in relation to the stadium, in addition to its beauty, as it is shaped like an indigenous basket full of fruit. “What we have here is reason to be proud, not just for Manaus and Amazonas state residents, but for Brazil itself. It is a jewel embedded in the heart of the Amazon. There was a lot of doubts and skepticism. To come here and see how beautiful this stadium is and the quality of work done is reason to be proud, which will be a rather predominant feeling during the World Cup”, he said.
“We’re going to work together to be able to have international matches here. I was told that Manaus is going to have three direct flights to Miami. This will make it easier for teams like the United States. And if that happens, other teams will want to play here too”, stated Fernandes.
When asked World Cup legacy related questions, Luis Fernandes gave a scientific example, which is benefitting from investments made in telecommunications for the tournament. “Brazil has a national research network that needs a high speed network. Until now, this high speed network had not managed to get to the Amazon region, which made joint technology and scientific research and projects unviable. With the investments made in telecommunications for the World Cup, for the first time research institutes and universities can effectively be part of the national research network. A fantastic legacy which nobody would link to the World Cup”, he explained.
Dilma Rousseff visited the Amazonia Arena this Friday (14.02). The president was taken to a box, the VIP area and the dressing rooms. She also went onto the pitch through the same way as the players will and spoke to workers who were engaged in finishing works. “I think all stadiums are beautiful, but the one in Manaus is one of the most beautiful”, commented Dilma Rousseff in a quick meeting with the press on the side of the pitch.
With the pitch offering match conditions and the lighting system already tested, there are only a few finishing touches needed before the stadium is delivered. Some concrete areas are being painted and the floorboards are being laid down in the external areas, where the heavy machinery was being operated. The Amazonia Arena will have a seating capacity for 44.5 thousand people, 40 thousand of them during the World Cup. The project has been budgeted in R$ 669.5 million, R$ 400 million of which as federal financing from BNDES (Brazilian Development Bank).
Carol Delmazo - World Cup Portal