FIFA has just announced that Rio de Janeiro will host the coveted International Broadcast Centre (IBC) during the 2014 World Cup.
With the so called Marvelous City already having confirmed it will host the final at the Maracanã, that means it has secured two of the three most important early goals.
The third big score, that of the opening match, was supposed to go to São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest and most important city. But delays and petty infighting mean it still doesn’t have a decent stadium and it probably won’t be ready to host the prestigious occasion.
The capital Brasilia is now the favourite but it could still go to Rio de Janeiro.
FIFA said Rio was chosen to host the IBC “for many reasons, including the quality of the infrastructure, the variety of accommodation and activities available in the city as well as its strongly expressed willingness to provide all possible support for the IBC and its users.”
“I can tell you it was a very difficult decision; all candidates were of great quality and showed huge commitment,” said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, who chaired the meeting together with LOC President Ricardo Teixeira. “But unfortunately there can only be one selected host and we considered that the best overall for FIFA was Rio de Janeiro This IBC will be one of the most advanced information centres in the world for the months of June and July 2014. It is a vital component, linking the FIFA World Cup to the rest of the world and ensuring that people across the globe have the latest and best coverage of our beautiful game,”
The decision is an important economic one because it means that much of the media will be based there during the tournament. In South Africa last year, 179 broadcasters from more than 70 countries had on-site productions with 13,000 staff members in South Africa.
The centre will be at Riocentro on the outskirts of the city, which is a pain in the neck for visitors who want to actually experience the Rio of Copacabana and Ipanema, Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf.
Riocentro is about 22 miles away in a serious of cavernous exhibition rooms. Getting there through Rio’s horrendous traffic can take hours.
The draw for the qualifying rounds of the 2014 tournament takes place in Rio on July 30.