The 2014 World Cup will happen in Brazil. FIFA, the International Federation of Soccer, confirmed Brazil as host of that global event on Tuesday, October 30, marking the first time since 1950 that the privilege has been bestowed on the country that calls itself "the land of the football boot."
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who went to Zurich, where the announcement was made, led the celebrations when he told delegates: "I would just like to say how happy I am to see Brazil's name showing up on that card.
"The fact Brazil has been chosen to host the World Cup in 2014 is a reason for us to have a great party and to be very happy. But we go back to Brazil knowing we have on our shoulders much more responsibility than when we arrived here."
2014 will be the second time the South American nation have hosted the World Cup; the first time being back in 1950 when they lost in the final game to Uruguay.
Brazil was the only contender because of a now scrapped FIFA policy of rotating World Cups through its six continental confederations.
Eighteen Brazilian cities have bid to stage matches, but as yet none of the potential host stadiums have passed FIFA safety standards. The Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, which held a world-record crowd of 199,000 for the 1950 final, is one such stadium which will require work.
Looking at Michel Platini, the former French skipper who scored against Brazil in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final and is now the president of UEFA, Lula said: "We cried Platini when you scored that penalty goal against us. The nation cried but we also laughed when Romário scored and Dunga lifted the cup."
Ricardo Teixeira, the president of the Brazilian Soccer Federation (CBF) reacted angrily when asked about crime levels in his country.
"I believe that the violence issue today is an international issue. We had a recent good example during the Pan-American games in Rio – there was no violent event there. If you go to major cities in the U.S. you see kids killing other kids in schools, at least we don't have that."
FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter also angrily reacted to the question, storming back to the podium and saying: "When we gave the World Cup to South Africa, the first question was about criminality.
"Now we have given it to Brazil and you start with the same questions, please observe a little bit of respect to our institution, the House of Football and our guests here."
Although Brazil sent an official 27-man delegation to FIFA, former Brazil soccer great Pelé was not amongst them. Teixeira said he had no idea were he was, adding that Dunga and Romário were in the delegation, representing the teams that Brazil had fielded since he became president of the CBF.
"I don't know where he is but we invited two players here that represent the great generation of players during my presidency."
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