2014 FIFA World Cup – BAck in Brazil After 56 Years
At its meeting in Zurich on 30 October 2007, the FIFA Executive Committee decided to award the rights to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ to the only bidders for the competition, Brazil. The five-time World Cup winners last staged the competition in 1950.
The President of the Brazilian football association, Ricardo Teixeira, who was supported in Zurich by a delegation including Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, national coach Carlos Dunga, writer Paulo Coelho and former footballer Romario, said he was suitably confident about the tournament’s outlook.
“To be granted the right to host the 2014 World Cup is a cause for great celebration,” declared a visibly moved Lula da Silva. “Staging the World Cup is a big responsibility, but I am certain we can fulfil our duty. We will show to the world that we are a stable country. We will see wonderful football and if everything goes to plan, our team will be the winners.”
Although Brazil was bidding for the competition unopposed, FIFA set the bar high, perhaps even higher than if there had been two candidates, said Joseph S. Blatter. He added that the country had been thoroughly scrutinised by a FIFA inspection group and that the tournament would have a big social and cultural impact on the country.
The Brazilians will now set about building and renovating the stadiums in the cities that are bidding to host matches in 2014, including the legendary Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, which was originally built for the 1950 World Cup and now houses a museum where visitors can wonder at the country’s glorious footballing history.
In the world’s fifth-largest country, which occupies almost half of the South American continent, 18 cities – Beiem, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Campo Grande, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Florianopolis, Fortaleza, Goiania, Maceio, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio Branco, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador und Sao Paulo – will be competing for their stadiums to be designated official venues for 2014, of which 12 will be successful.
Regardless of whoever gets the nod in the end, one thing is for certain: the FIFA World Cup™ is returning to a great – if not the greatest – footballing nation. As president Lula da Silva said, “We are a state with many problems, but we are also a nation that is capable of excelling itself and striving to achieve something great – like this tournament. We will organise an extraordinary World Cup.”