VIDEO - Brazil 2014 Preparations with 500 Days To Go

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(WFI) With 500 days to go, Brazil's World Cup preparations are stepping up momentum. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's Secretariat for Social Communication has released a video showing the current state of preparations


Blatter Sends Condolences

FIFA president Sepp Blatter sent his condolences to Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff following Sunday's Santa Maria nightclub fire that claimed the lives of 231 people. The tragedy led to the cancellation of today's 500-day countdown ceremony to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

"Although words can do little to comfort the pain and anguish being suffered in your country at this moment, I would like you to know that the football family is thinking of the Brazilian people at this sad time," Blatter said in a letter to Rousseff, according to

"I would like you to know that with 500 days to go until the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, our game is here to support people who are suffering through the hope and positive emotions it brings with it, and to carry them through these dark days."

Valcke Attends Brazil 2014 Test Event

FIFA No.2 Jerome Valcke has given his thoughts on the first 2014 World Cup test event.

He watched a game between local sides at the revamped Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza on Sunday. It’s also a host venue for the June 15-30 Confederations Cup.

“It is good for the first time not to talk about the construction works, but to actually see a football match at a stadium that will host the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup,” Valcke told “We are happy to see that the stadium is ready for everyone to use.”

“We have things to test and there will be test events. There is a large amount of space around the stadium and we have the feeling that everything will go well. This is an amazing arena.”

Speaking in broader terms about the 12 World Cup host cities, the FIFA secretary general added: “From the commitment we received from local authorities and the Brazilian government through the sports ministry, we are confident that all stadiums will be delivered on time.

“However, we must work on the surroundings of the stadiums and public transportation, which is something we have all been discussing with the host cities."

Sports minister Aldo Rebelo said the Fortaleza population “will benefit from the legacy in terms of infrastructure, urban mobility, income, business opportunities, jobs generated.”

By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson

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