The opportunity to host the 20th edition of the FIFA World Cup has generated a legacy of international renown in infrastructure and services to Brazil, which was highlighted during the presentation of the 2014 World Cup Legacy Plan this Tuesday (20 January) at the Arena Corinthians (São Paulo).
The event was attended by FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, who announced a World Cup legacy fund worth US$ 100 million. FIFA will allocate the resources to finance grassroots football development projects (men's and women's) in the 15 states that did not host World Cup matches.
“Brazil hosted an impressive World Cup, with great goals, matches and moments, but today we are here to talk about the post-Cup. From the beginning, I said that the World was more than just the 32 days of competition. I was in South Africa a few weeks ago, and we are still working to develop football legacy there. It is the same idea here," said Valcke.
The fund's resources will be passed on by FIFA to the CBF and released as the projects presented are approved. CBF (Brazil's highest-level football entity) will monitor use of the funds.
“We have helped the CBF in identifying the right projects to support. We have a permanent audit system to ensure that all the money is used according to the rules of FIFA. Money is monitored so that it is used correctly. Not one penny will be used in a way we do not accept. These millions are not relayed immediately. It is not one single transfer. The money is gradually released as projects are approved. We work in close collaboration," said Valcke.
About 60% of the funds will be used for the construction of Training Centres, such as the one being built next to the Mangueirão Stadium in Belém. The Centre will feature three pitches (two with synthetic grass and one with natural grass), cafeteria structure, changing rooms and an event space.
The model will be replicated in other states, as explained by the Infrastructure Director of CBF, Oswaldo Gentille, with management by the state-level football federations. “The priorities are the development of women's and youth football, but we will seek to develop social legacy as a whole, developing citizens and including families and communities. The goal is to provide for human, physical and cognitive development through football," Gentille said.
The Brazilian federal government has anticipated investments to be made in urban mobility, airports, ports, telecommunications, tourism infrastructure and others in order to leverage the opportunities generated by the World Cup. The Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Sport and coordinator of the World Cup Executive Group (Gecopa), Luis Fernandes, mentioned during the presentation that the projects went above and beyond FIFA's requirements to host the competition.
“Brazil is a developing country, and we saw hosting the World Cup as a path to leverage key investments in infrastructure and services that the country needs. That was the concept of legacy that guided our planning. In addition to the essential infrastructure needed for the event, such as stadiums, we also focused on the infrastructure works that would remain as a legacy after the World Cup, on expanding public policies and people's citizenship rights, and on how to innovate on production chains that would be greatly enhanced by the tournament. The legacy emanating from the Cup is manifold, both tangible - such as the construction works - and intangible - such as the projected image of the country, which was able, despite the scepticism of some, to deliver the event with excellence," he said.
Luis Fernandes commented on the unprecedented initiative of the Brazilian government, which is now a requirement of FIFA for the next editions of the World Cup: environmental certification of the arenas that hosted the tournament's matches. All 12 World Cup stadiums received (or are in the process of receiving) the LEED environmental award, a world-class environmental certification granted by international organization Green Building Council.
In the sporting area, the Executive Secretary highlighted the investments made in the FIFA Team Base Camp catalogue, which listed 83 sites for national teams to choose where to train during the tournament. The Ministry of Sports invested over R$ 93 million in 30 stadiums and public Training Centres.
Finally, the FIFA Secretary-General highlighted the projection the country attained abroad with hosting the World Cup. “I think Brazil's success became an example of how the country is an amazing place to visit. Most tourists came for the first time, and said they want to come back. That puts Brazil on a different level in terms of tourism," praised Valcke, who added that he had not heard any complaints about the country.
FIFA also launched the first sustainability report ever prepared for a World Cup, now available at the entity's website. The event on Tuesday also was attended by the President of the CBF, José Maria Marin, and the future head of the entity, Marco Polo del Nero, as well the CEO of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Ricardo Trade.