By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Confederations Cup, due to take place in Brazil from June 15th – 30th in 2013, is set to be the most popular in history. Last week, tickets went on sale to the general public with almost 190,000 requested in the first 24 hours, a new record in the history of the competition.
With the draw having been made last Saturday, December 1st, the tournament’s opening match has been confirmed as Brazil vs Japan at Brasília’s Mané Garrincha stadium. With over six months to go until kick-off, 37,000 tickets have already been ordered for the curtain raiser.
At this early stage it is too soon to actually buy tickets; those wanting to see the action live can register on the FIFA website and subsequently have their name entered into the draw to see who will be be able to buy them, should supporter demand mean there are not enough to go round.
Orders can be made online until January 15th, with the draw being made the following day. The announcement will then be made on February 15th. As well as visiting the website, those interested can send an email to email@example.com or call +55 (31) 3330-1550.
Meanwhile, football related matters aren’t being allowed to rest following the departure of Mano Menezes and hiring of Luiz Felipe Scolari. Having been drawn in a tough group alongside Japan, Italy and Mexico, Felipão is relishing seeing how the Seleção national team equip themselves against tougher opposition.
Brazil enjoyed some routs this year, notably a 6-0 win over Iraq and an 8-0 mauling of China, but the performances were cast into doubt due to the relative strengths of the opposition. Scolari believes his team will benefit playing teams who pose a greater threat.
“It will be interesting to challenge this group because of the balance between the teams,” he said. “It is good to play strong opposition and see our potential.”
Unfortunately, just with the 2014 World Cup, Cariocas will only be able to see the Brazilian team in Rio should they reach the final. Brazil will play their three group games in Brasília, Fortaleza and Salvador.
Rio’s Maracanã Stadium has however been given three games for the competition. Mexico play Italy on June 16th, Spain take on Tahiti on the 20th before the final on the 30th.
Regardless of who will be gracing the Maracanã turf, the stadium is making steady progress towards its conclusion. At present 110 VIP boxes are being installed, each being around 80m².
The luxury suites will be on the east side of the arena and come with a furnished interior and a space outside for match viewing. A model has been erected for fans to go and take a peek at how the World Cup final will be viewed by FIFA and their delegates.
Yet not all Cariocas are happy with the amount of space being used for the boxes, arguing they take away space for ordinary viewers and are a waste of money. Speaking to The Rio Times, civil lawyer Bruno Vasconcellos said: “Money’s being thrown away on something completely unnecessary. The country needs investment in education and health, not an elitist area in a football space that takes up 30,000 regular seats.”