Brazil and the rest of the world await for the upcoming football festival, which is now less than two months away. One by one, the FIFA is unfolding preparatory events, towards the run up to the 2014 World Cup, one of the most celebrated football shows in the globe. The scale of World Cup is so enormous that even seemingly minor related events assume importance and become newsworthy. Over the last few days, many things have happened, which caught the fancy of football fans in every corner of the earth. Here are some of these tidbits:
A second batch of referees and their assistants took part in a seminar at FIFA headquarters, Zurich during April 7-11, 2014. These gentlemen came from Africa, CONCACAF and South America and they were subjected to strict medical, physical and technical tests in preparation for the World Cup. A similar batch of referees and assistant referees from Europe and Asia were called in March 2014 for such training. While top physical and medical conditions are vital, the technical side is no less important. The seminar organizers exposed the participants to a video analysis of match situations to emphasize the importance of uniformity and consistency. Since referees would come from different parts of the world, it is necessary for them to be on the same page, when they oversee a world cup match. In addition to theoretical lessons, the participants were required to undergo practical sessions as well, in which junior footballers from FC Zurich were used to create real-life game scenarios under the watchful eyes of FIFA’s Head of Refereeing, Massimo Busacca. Mr. Busacca is a former World Cup referee and he is very highly respected figure in FIFA. He remained personally involved all through the seminars in March and April and kept stressing that fair play should be the main focus for the referees and their assistants.
In another event on April 10, World Cup’s official uniform for nearly 14000 volunteers was launched with great fanfare. These volunteers have been chosen to provide assistance at Brazil World Cup. One member of the Volunteer brigade became especially emotional, when he received his uniform kit from his childhood idol, the great Brazilian footballer Zico. The 40-year old Alexandre Costa had gone to Maracana for the event and his joy knew no bounds, when the celebrated Zico presented him the uniform. It must be recalled that Zico represented Brazil in three Successive World Cups in 1978, 1982 and 1986. The official launch of the volunteer uniforms took place at a catwalk show, which was a part of the Fashion Rio Week. The compere was Brazilian super-model Fernanda Lima and it was attended by 14 World Cup volunteers, another top model Lais Ribeiro and 2002 World Cup winners Cafu and Juliano Belletti. An added attraction was the presence of synchronized-swimming twins Bia and Branca Feres.
Yesterday, FIFA in association with Sony Music Entertainment, revealed the track of an eagerly awaited album, titled, “One Love One Rhythm: The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album”. The album contains the Official Song of the World Cup; “We Are One (Ole Ola)”. The names of the artistes, who will sing this song and also the official anthem, had already been announced earlier this year. The album features many internationally recognized music superstars, who will lend their distinctive voices to the rhythm of football’s most celebrated event. Colombian singer Shakira, whose song for the 2010 World Cup, Waka-Waka is still fresh in people’s memory, is one of the chosen singers this year as well. If it was Waka-Waka in South Africa, it will be La-la-La in Brazil from the talented Shakira. Besides, Shakira, the album also features songs by Ricky Martin, Carlinhos Brown, Bebel Gilberto and several other leading names from the Brazilian music scene. The date for the official sale of the World Cup Album has been fixed for May 12 but the booking has already begun.
As the days go by, more fun and frolic will be added to make the FIFA’s super extravaganza an event to cherish. Even otherwise, Brazilians are football crazy and the upcoming event will certainly uplift the spirit of football in Brazil. The world cup is going to keep the Brazilian fraternity completely engaged for nearly a month in several venues all over the country. The government of Brazil and its administrative machinery is leaving no stone unturned to bring glory to their nation.