The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s). The World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the 2006 final.
Of the 18 tournaments held, seven nations have won the title. Brazil are the only team that have played in every tournament and have won the World Cup a record five times. Italy are the current champions and have won four titles, and Germany are next with three. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and Argentina, with two titles each, and England and France, with one title each.
The most recent World Cup was held in Germany in 2006. The next World Cup will be held in South Africa, between 11 June and 11 July 2010, and the 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil.
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th World Cup, an international tournament for football, that is expected to take place between June and July 2014 in Brazil.
This will be the second time the country has hosted the competition, the first being the 1950 FIFA World Cup. Brazil will become the fifth country to have hosted the FIFA World Cup twice, after Mexico, Italy, France, and Germany. It will be the first World Cup to have been held in South America since the 1978 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Argentina, and this will be the first time consecutive World Cups have been staged in the southern hemisphere. Brazil also will become the first nation to break the well-established chain of allowing a European nation to host the World Cup Finals every eight years.
On 7 March 2003, the world football body FIFA announced that the tournament would be held in South America for the first time since Argentina hosted the 1978 FIFA World Cup, in line with its policy of rotating the right to host the World Cup amongst different confederations. On 3 June 2003, CONMEBOL announced that Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia wanted to host the 2014 World Cup finals. By 17 March 2004, the CONMEBOL associations had voted unanimously to adopt Brazil as their sole candidate. Brazil formally declared its candidacy in December 2006 and Colombia did so as well a few days later. The Argentina bid never materialized. On 11 April 2007, Colombia officially withdrew its bid making Brazil the only official candidate to host the event in 2014.
Brazil won the right to host the event on 30 October 2007, as the only country to enter a bid.
Seventeen cities showed interest in being chosen as World Cup host cities: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Brasília, Belém, Campo Grande, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Manaus, Natal, Recife/Olinda (a stadium will be shared by both cities), Rio Branco and Salvador. Maceió withdrew in January 2009.
According to current FIFA practice, no more than one city may use two stadia, and the number of host cities is limited between eight and ten. The Brazilian Confederation already requested permission to assign twelve cities hosting World Cup Finals. On 26 December 2008, FIFA gave the green light to the 12-city plan
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) estimates that the cost of construction and remodeling of stadiums alone will be over $1.1 billion US, or some £550 million. In addition to the stadium upgrades and renovations, there will be millions more spent on basic infrastructure needs to get the country ready. All of this will be a boom for foreign investment in the country and make it more attractive for those who wish to buy their own home in Brazil.
When informed of the decision to host the tournament, CBF President Ricardo Teixeira said "We are a civilized nation, a nation that is going through an excellent phase, and we have got everything prepared to receive adequately the honor to organize an excellent World Cup." Teixeira was on hand at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland when the announcement was made.
"Over the next few years we will have a consistent influx of investments. The 2014 World Cup will enable Brazil to have a modern infrastructure," Teixeira said. "In social terms will be very beneficial. Our objective is to make Brazil become more visible in global arenas," he added. "The World Cup goes far beyond a mere sporting event. It's going to be an interesting tool to promote social transformation."
In September 2008, Brazil's Transportation Ministry announced a high-speed train (TAV RJ-SP) project for the world cup connecting Campinas, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. This would cost US$11 billion. The technology will most likely be provided by companies from France, Japan, South Korea or Germany which will form consortiums with Brazilian engineering firms, and he mentioned two companies, Alstom SA of France and Siemens AG from Germany. The project will be put out to bid in March and construction should begin by early 2010 or sooner.
On August 31, 2009 the state airport management agency Infraero unveiled a BRL5.3 billion (USD2.8 billion; EUR2.0 billion) investiment plan to upgrade airports of 10 of the venue cities, increasing their capacity and comfort for the hundreds of thousands of tourists expected for the Cup. Natal and Salvador are excluded because their upgrade works have been recently completed. A significant amount (55,3%) of the money will be spent overhauling the airports of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The investment figure covers works to be carried out up to 2014.
Vivaldão Stadium in Manaus.
The announcement by Infraero came in reply to criticism made by the Brazilian General Aviation Association, a grouping of private aircraft owners, that Brazil's airports currently could not cope with the World Cup inflow. The vice-president of the association, Adalberto Febeliano, told reporters more than 500,000 football fans were expected, with each one taking between six and 14 flights during the tournament to get to the games in various cities.
The majority of Brazil's airports were built before the end of World War II, and several were at saturation point in terms of passengers, the association said. It added that it should be possible to renovate the facilities "within three or four years" if the political will existed. Infraero said in a statement: "In the race against time, Infraero is making sure that the 67 airports in its network are in perfect condition and can welcome in comfort and security passengers in Brazil and from abroad."
The Brazilian government plans to make the most of the World Cup to spread information on the country, with a view to attracting more visitors, said Jeanine Pires, president of the state tourism organization Embratur, with the hope of attracting some half-a-million foreigners each of whom is estimated to spend about 112 dollars per day. Their very presence is already set to have an impact with a surge in demand for rental accommodation due to the influx of football fans, good news for people who already hold property investments in the Brazilian market.
Arena das Dunas Stadium in Natal.
With games traditionally played in a variety of locations throughout the host country, this is likely to showcase many of the country's major cities, potentially boosting interest from both holidaymakers and overseas property investors. Property ownership in Brazil has recently been triggered by plans for the development of a new international airport in the north of country. Greater Natal International Airport should be operational by 2010, boosting accessibility to the Brazilian property hotspot of Natal as a result.
The Brazilian minister of Tourism, Luiz Barreto, who also participated in the forum, bets on the 2014 World Cup to improve the quality of the sector in Brazil. "The Cup is one of the main exhibition opportunities of Brazil to the world," he said. The Ministry's target is to reach 2014 with 65 tourist destinations highly qualified to supply tourists. "It should be a great challenge," said Barreto, who signed an agreement with Roberto Marinho Foundation in January for the qualification of 80,000 people for the tourism sector. No matter, in the tourism sector, the minister said that Brazil has been gaining ground. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, in which tourist competitiveness and attractiveness is shown, Brazil stands out in the top position in South America, in second in Latin America and in fourth in the Americas. In the case of a study of the main tourist economies of the WTTC, the country rose from the 14th position, in 2008, to the 13th this 2009.