2014 World Cup countdown clock unveiled
A clock counting down until Brazil plays host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup was revealed on Rio’s Copacabana beach.
The clock designed by late architect Oscar Niemeyer, a Brazilian icon, and created by Hublot has been commended as another milestone in preparation for the games. The country’s ambassador for the 2014 games and as a previous three times winner, Pele was present at the ceremony.
Other guests at the unveiling ceremony included; Brazil Sports Minister Also Rebelo, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, Secretary General for FIFA Jérôme Valcke and Hublot president Jean-Claude Biver. FIFA president Sepp Blatter was not in attendance but said he was ‘extremely pleased’ with the World Cup preparations. The clock’s countdown began three days ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup, which will see Brazil face Japan.
The 2014 event is significant not only for Brazil but FIFA also. Valcke commented: “This will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, a major milestone for us too, especially as it’s being held in a country with such an enormous love of football.”
Next year will be the first time Brazil hosts the games since their humiliating defeat by Uruguay in 1950. Pele commented: “We are going to stage an excellent World Cup, we are confident. I hope not to have the same experience I had when I was nine in 1950 and saw my father crying in front of the radio.”
Preparations are in full swing with games being held across the country in regions such as Natal in Brazil’s northern Rio Grande do Norte. Natal has seen major investment as it becomes a tourist hotspot, and is expected to be a primary location for visitors to the games. With the nearby São Gonçalo do Amarante airport ready to welcome flights from Europe and America; Natal is a perfect host city for the FIFA 2014 World Cup.
Sources: The World Game, Fifa