One hundred and forty days away from the World Cup and in the opinion of the Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Sport Luis Fernandes, preparation works for the event have gone into a decisive stage. After the meeting of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Management Board this Thursday (23.01), at the Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro), he emphasised the need to establish a new operation standard in terms of organising the World Cup.
“In addition to delivering the stadiums, we have to look after all other operations. Brazil is a country the size of a continent, with several government levels and we have to ensure that everyone plays their role, so that it all works in an integrated manner", he said at a press conference, at the stage of the tournament's final.
The Executive Secretary pointed out that organisation related efforts conducted until now have already produced results. “We’ve had a very important presentation from the Civil Aviation Secretariat and the National Civil Aviation Agency. They showed us the measures in course to increase the number of flights in the country and ensure that the need for travelling, for fans coming to watch World Cup matches, is supplied for", said Fernandes.
“Over 1,900 new flights have been authorised – and more will be authorised. Just this first measure has already resulted in significant airfare reductions to World Cup destinations", added the Executive Secretary, recalling that a similar measure will be implemented with the hotel sector, in order for the same results to be reached in relation to values charged for board during the World Cup.
First event with the 32 squads
The meeting in Rio de Janeiro finished the first cycle of visits that the FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke made to stadiums and host cities in 2014. The delegation was also made up of federal government officials and LOC members, like former footballers Cafu and Bebeto. They visited São Paulo, Cuiabá, Curitiba and Natal.
The delivery of the Dunas Arena on Wednesday (22.01) in Natal was praised by Valcke, who made sure to remind everyone of the date of his next visit to Brazil: 18 February, which is when the seminar that will bring together the technical staff of the 32 squads taking part in the World Cup will take place in Florianopolis (state of Santa Catarina). “It’s an important moment because all qualified squads will be in Brazil and will want to see where they're going to train, stay, the stadium they'll play at. We have a lot of important information to give them that week", he said.
The biggest concern is in relation to the progress of construction works at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba, but the FIFA Secretary-General and LOC representatives opted for trusting the efforts of the federal government, as well as the government of the state of Parana and Curitiba City Hall, in relation to speeding up construction at the stadium. “Curitiba is in a difficult situation, but I’m sure they’ll turn it around. That’s our goal: to work hard and tirelessly. I’ve always been someone who thinks positively and I really believe that Parana will turn this around”, stated Bebeto.