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FIFA inspection team praises Brazil's 2014 World Cup presentation

FIFA inspection team praises Brazil's 2014 World Cup presentation

The head of FIFA's delegation scrutinizing Brazil's 2014 World Cup bid praised the country's presentation Friday, making special note of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's commitment to the project.
"It was done with great professionalism and competence," said Hugo Salcedo, a Colombian-born naturalized American, who led FIFA's inspection team that completed its tour Friday. "We felt ... the soul, the enthusiasm, the spirit that is Brazil."
The interest and input of Lula da Silva, an ardent soccer fan, was especially impressive.
"The most important thing was the meeting with President Lula," Salcedo said in Rio's Maracana stadium. "It was very emotional to see the president so enthusiastic about soccer."
The inspectors don't decide whether Brazil will host the Cup, but will return to Switzerland and file a report to the FIFA executive committee, which will announce its decision on Oct. 30.
"We are the eyes and ears of FIFA," Salcedo said. "We could feel what Brazil is and that all the cities shown have what's needed to be a host."
Salcedo was part of a five-member team of FIFA that arrived on Aug. 23 and examined 18 cities and stadiums that aspire to stage games for the 2014 tournament.
Brazil is the lone candidate to host the 2014 championship, an event it has won a record five times but hosted only once _ in 1950, when it lost to Uruguay before a Maracana crowd estimated at about 200,000.
South America's most populous nation is likely to win the bid if FIFA remains committed to its continental rotation policy. The 2006 Cup was in Germany, and the 2010 Cup will be held in South Africa.
Brazil was confident it made a convincing show.
"Welcome to the stage of the final of the 2014 World Cup," Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral joked to reporters on Maracana's playing surface.
Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian soccer confederation and member of the FIFA executive committee, said Brazil could match the efficiency of Germany and add a Brazilian flavor.
"We don't want to stage in Brazil a German Cup, or an African, or a Korean," he said. "We will stage our own Cup, with Brazilian joy and samba."
Brazil's bid was technically better than others had made in the past, Teixeira said.
"We already have sent all the government guarantees and the contract provisions with the support of President Lula," he said. "Other countries only offered the guarantees after the fact."
Former Brazilian national team stalwart Romario, a member of the country's World Cup champion in 1994 and an unofficial ambassador of Brazil's 2014 bid, said Brazil deserved to stage the Cup.
"What this commission is taking to FIFA is the Brazilian soul, and the Brazilian soul is good," he said. "I think we deserve the World Cup here."
But Teixeira recalled that Brazil still has work to do to meet FIFA's demands.
"The Cup is not a 'gift' from FIFA," he said. "FIFA gives you the Cup, and can take it away if you don't meet the requirements."


Updated : 2021-02-28 22:06 GMT+08:00