Brazilian top brass to take lessons from SA

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Johannesburg - South Africa's successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup will help Brazil identify all the necessary requirements needed to host a modern day World Cup, soccer bosses from the South American country said on Thursday.

Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup, having last staged the world's biggest showpiece more than 60 years ago. A top Brazilian soccer delegation, led by that country's head of the local organising committee Ricardo Teixeira has been in the country since the start of the World Cup not only to watch the tournament but to learn how South Africa managed to silence its critics to stage what has been a fairly good World Cup.

"We have been here long enough to monitor everything that we can and should learn from South Africa, whether negative or positive we will use that to ensure that Brazil stages the best World Cup ever.

"We are not saying people should judge us by what South Africa has been able or unable to deliver - but what we are saying is we are here to learn and ensure that we use every lesson to our advantage," Teixeira said at a press conference.

He revealed that the Brazilian government had sent a team of security experts to South Africa during the World Cup to do a security analysis on how the country was handling security threats to the event.

Despite being highly favoured to win this year's World Cup, Brazil saw its fortunes run away when they were knocked out in the quarter final of the tournament by the underdogs Netherlands.

But Teixeira insisted that Brazilian football authorities had enough time between now and 2014 to prepare a team to compete amongst the best in the world.

Since 1994 there has not been any World Cup tournament organised in the South American continent and Brazil is hoping to pull out all stops to win the 2014 leg. The country will be organising three major events in the next few years starting with the World Cup, the America Cup in 2015 and the Olympic Games in 2016.

Former Brazilian international footballer Romario is confident that after hosting their first World Cup in 1950, the people of Brazil were ready to put together a memorable tournament after South Africa. "The people of Brazil are ready...they are anxious and we are very hopeful and extremely happy and we will show to the world what Brazil is really made of," he said.

Even former Bafana Bafana Coach Alberto Parreira, who won a World Cup for Brazil, was full of support for his native country. "Having seen everything that has been done in South Africa in the four years before the tournament, I have no doubt that with the same commitment Brazil can also deliver a good World Cup. I have been here and people never believed this country can do and today there isn't one foreigner here who has any doubt that this was a good World Cup," said Parreira.

"Most Africans and I believe that Brazil will be able to fulfill all the requirements and we want to leave the same message to the world that Africa left," he said.

Teixeira acknowledged, however that not all was well with the Brazilian preparations, saying construction in some stadia had stalled due to lack of funding. "In terms of Sao Paulo we are having doubts because the stadium is facing some financial challenges. Relatively speaking everything is on schedule despite a few challenges, progress in some stadiums is well advanced than in others. We now have to come up with a plan to see how Sao Paulo as a hosts city can participate in the World Cup should they not have a stadium," he said.

He also said there were still doubts about Curitiba as a host city but that no conclusions have been made about the matter. "As soon as we arrive in Brazil we need to discuss those matters and see which city is still struggling to organize." Rio de Janeiro is still tipped as the favoured training base city for the Brazilian team.