/ 1 February 2012

Confederations Cup logo unveiled

Fifa unveiled the 2013 Confederations Cup logo on Wednesday and confirmed that Brasilia will host the tournament’s opening match while the final will be held at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

The native Brazilian bird Rufous-bellied Thrush is at the centre of the logo, with its wings extending upward in front of a football. The green, yellow, red, white and blue logo has “Brasil 2013” and “Fifa Confederations Cup” inscribed on it.

The bird, considered a national symbol, is shown with green wings, a yellow and green body and a red belly. The word “Brasil” is green and “2013” is blue.

With exactly 500 days left until the tournament begins, Fifa said the new Estadio Nacional in Brasilia will stage the opening match on June 30, while the revamped Maracana will host the final on June 30.

Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza will also host matches while the north-eastern cities of Recife and Salvador still need approval from Fifa.

Workers building Salvador’s stadium announced a strike on Wednesday, according to local media, but it wasn’t clear if the work stoppage would influence the city’s chances of being part of the Confederations Cup. Workers in Recife also are on strike, which is a problem that has affected several World Cup host cities so far.

Continental winners
The Confederations Cup serves as a test tournament ahead of the 2014 World Cup. It will feature the continental winners from each of the six confederations plus World Cup champion Spain and host Brazil.

Mexico, Japan and Uruguay also have already secured their berth while the three other nations will come from Africa, Oceania and Europe.

The eight teams will be divided into two groups during the draw taking place in December in Sao Paulo, which will host the World Cup opener but won’t receive Confederation Cup matches because its stadium won’t be ready by then.

“I think that in Brazil we’ll have the strongest set of national sides since the tournament began,” said former Brazil star Ronaldo, a member of the local organizing committee. “It will be a great opportunity for Brazilian fans to watch top-level football in new stadiums, as well as to give the world a little taste of our hospitality.”

Brazil has won three of the eight Confederations Cup played so far, including the last two.

“It’s an extremely important competition, it’s like a preview for the World Cup,” said Ronaldinho, who helped Brazil win the 2005 tournament. “The next edition will have a special flavour since it’s in Brazil. “I’m very motivated and I’m hoping to take part in this competition in 2013.” — Sapa-AP