It seems now that Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will not attend the World Cup final game between Spain and Holland on Sunday in South Africa. The event was to be his final activity in a six-country tour of Africa, a farewell trip to the continent.
Lula has visited Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya and Tanzania. He is in Zambia this Thursday. During the trip he has signed agreements on HIV/AIDS treatment, professional training, biofuels and food security.
He has also moved to forgive debts that the countries he is visiting have with Brazil.
Lula is reported to be very depressed with the elimination of Brazil and has said that there is no longer any reason for him to go to the game although as the host of the 2014 World Cup, an official representative of Brazil should be there – for a symbolic passing of the torch.
Lula will be in South Africa for the presentation of the 2014 official logotype. If Lula does not go to the game, he will return to Brazil on Saturday.
Lula said that the World Cup 2014, which will be hosted by Brazil, will be quite transparent having all the data on spending and hiring, released on the Internet for all to see. For him, the sustainability of the event and the investments to be made in infrastructure will be critical to boosting the country’s growth.
“The preparation for the event will have maximum transparency. I’ve signed two decrees. All public acts will be disseminated on the Internet and can be monitored in real time by any citizen, anywhere in the world,” he said during the ceremony that marked the beginning of preparations for the World Cup 2014.
“We’ll do a green cup. Green as our forests. Environmental sustainability is a priority for Brazil and will be one of the hallmarks of the World Cup in our country. The World Cup will be a great opportunity to accelerate growth in infrastructure needed for the world championship and crucial to the development of our Brazil,” he said adding that a plan involving the federal government, local governments and the 12 host cities where matches will be held has already been approved.
In his speech, Lula praised the World Cup, held by South Africa this year and said the country showed the world “the strength, the joy, the creativity and the organizational ability of the African people.” “We Brazilians are very pleased with the phenomenal success of the World Cup in Africa,” he said, adding that this year’s event will serve as an example for Brazil.
“We are a people passionate about sports and passionate about soccer. Because we are a people passionate about life. And we believe that although is wonderful, you can always improve it even more.”
Lula went to South Africa for the official launch of the 2014 World Cup and also to watch the final World Cup, next Sunday, July 11. “When the final whistle here in Johannesburg, the ball will cross the Atlantic and off the field will be received by the Brazilians with the same care and love with which we treat it inside the field.”