Belo Horizonte – Brazil’s Hidden Gem, Highlights of the City’s World Cup journey as presence in tournament ends

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 11, 2014: As the 2014 FIFA World Cup draws to a close, Belo Horizonte reflects on its role within the tournament and the key moments of the city’s World Cup journey. With Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil in Tuesday’s Semi-Final coming 64 years after England’s shock defeat to the USA in 1950, Belo Horizonte will be a name forever associated with two of the most astonishing results in football history.

Speaking on Friday, Camillo Fraga, Municipal Secretary for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ – Host City, Belo Horizonte, said:

“It has been a memorable World Cup for the city of Belo Horizonte and our beloved Mineirão stadium has witnessed historic moments of world-class football during its time in the tournament. It has been a privilege to welcome teams and fans from across the world to Belo Horizonte and a pleasure to see them playing and celebrating the beautiful game in our stadium, Fan Fest and other parts of our city. We have been encouraged by the positive feedback we have received from teams, fans and the media about their experience in our home.”

“Our World Cup journey has also been tinged with sadness as we experienced a tragic accident which led to the loss of the lives of two people from Belo Horizonte. As a mark of respect to the victims and their families, we held a three-day period of mourning in the city and suspended all of our World Cup celebrations. We have been working very hard to investigate the cause of this accident and have provided support to the all the families involved.

“As we look ahead, for us the end of the World Cup in Belo Horizonte marks the start of a new chapter for the city as we prepare for our role in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games as the hosts of many Olympic football games and also the training camps of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB.

We are honoured that we will continue to be in the world’s spotlight and look forward to hosting many other major sporting events, foreign visitors and teams in our city of the Beautiful Horizon. I believe we have shown that we are truly Brazil’s hidden gem.”

Highlights of Belo Horizonte’s World Cup journey include:
 21st December 2012 – Mineirão stadium is delivered on-time and on-budget;

 3rd February 2013 – Opening Match at the newly refurbished Mineirão stadium as local teams Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro play in the State Championship;

 15th – 30th June 2013 – Belo Horizonte hosts three games during FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 including a Semi-Final;

 December 2013 – Argentinean, Chilean and Uruguayan FAs announce that they will use Belo Horizonte as their training base for the 2014 FIFA World Cup;

 28th May 2014 – Belo Horizonte announce exciting plans for an indoor FIFA Fan Fest within the city and a dedicated programme of concerts;

 14th June 2014 – Colombia 3-0 Greece: Colombia fans turn the Mineirão stadium yellow in its opening World Cup game – a star is born as James Rodríguez scores the first of his six World Cup goals;

 17th June 2014 – Belgium 2-1 Algeria: Belgium fight back against tournament surprise package Algeria to begin their successful World Cup journey;

 21st June 2014 – Argentina 1-0 Iran – Iran give one of the tournament favourites a run for their money before a Lionel Messi wonder strike seals the points in the 90th minute for Argentina;

 24th June 2014 – England 0-0 Costa Rica – A goalless draw ensures Costa Rica top Group D against the odds as England bow out with a solitary point;

 28th June 2014 – Round of 16: Brazil 1-1 Chile, Brazil win 3-2 on penalties – Brazil triumph in front of a carnival atmosphere at the Mineirão stadium with goalkeeper Julio Cesar the saviour after a tense penalty shoot-out;

 8th July 2014 – Semi-Final: Brazil 1-7 Germany – the hosts are stunned as a brilliant performance by Germany hits Brazil for seven in one of the most remarkable matches in football history.

Key Facts and Figures
 345,350 fans attended the six games held in the Mineirão Stadium

 People from over 60 countries were registered in Belo Horizonte during the tournament

 Over 100,000 passengers used the ‘Cup Terminals’ public transport, a special bus service created for the World Cup, which had dedicated pick-up points at key places around the city

 61.3 % was the average rate of occupancy in hotels in June 2014, with 100% on the day of the Semi-Final, 8th July

 60,000 firefighters and police officers from both, the Polícia Militar and Polícia Civil worked during the World Cup in Minas Gerais

 Over 21 tonnes of recyclable materials have been collected from the Mineirão stadium and FIFA Fan Fest and are now being re-used

 Over 226,000 people attended the Belo Horizonte FIFA Fan Fest leading up to and including the Semi-Final

 Over 2.5 tonnes of “tropeiro beans” (tropical beans with rice) and over 800kg of pão de queijo (cheese bread), specialities of the Minas Gerais region, have been consumed at the FIFA Fan Fest site during the tournament

 Over 200 journalists (national/international) were accredited at the FIFA Fan Fest non-accredited Media Centre. —- By: Rob Fawdon

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