Revealed! 2014 World Cup symbol
While Fifa chief Sepp Blatter says South Africa has done so well for the World Cup it should host the Olympics, Brazil is upping the hype for the 2014 football extravaganza. There'll be "inspiration", joining of hands and a welcome to all nations ... and that's just the symbol.
Sepp Blatter, the boss of world football’s governing body Fifa, deserves a lot of stick for the painfully slow march towards video-technology in football.
But when he's an advocate of a cause, he's quite charismatic.
He’s been talking up the case for South Africa as a venue for the Olympic Games. The gist being if a country can organise a multi-city event like the football World Cup – then the Olympic Games which only needs one metropolis - is a piece of cake.
There might be some one-upmanship going on between the meisters who run Fifa and the International Olympic Committee. I’m sure Jacques Rogge, former Olympic yachtsman and IOC supremo, can get choppy when necessary.
But before the nautical metaphors wash over me shivering timbers, back to terra firma.
Blatter was one of the main guests in Johannesburg as the official emblem for the 2014 World Cup was unveiled. The Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was also on hand.
Ricardo Teixeira, the chairman of 2014 organising committee was there as well as the former Brazil internationals Cafu, Romario and Carlos Alberto Torres, the captain of the 1970 World Cup winning team.
He was the bloke who thrashed in Brazil ’s fourth against Italy in the final - my favourite World Cup goal.
The new symbol for us to get frothy about is called “inspiration”. It was created by the Brazilian agency Africa . The design stems from a photograph of three victorious hands together raising the World Cup trophy.
As well as evoking the notion of hands interlinking, the portrayal of the hands is also symbolic of the yellow and green of Brazil welcoming the world to their country.
I’m a bit too cynical to buy that guff but it did it for the judging panel which included the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the designer Hans Donner and supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
I will refrain from any cheap and bawdy innuendos about linked hands and supermodels.
The author Paulo Coelho and singer Ivete Sangalo also gave their backing to the image.
I’m sure there are tickets in the post for the opening match to the agencies whose designs weren’t adopted.
Where that opening match will be is still to be decided. There are some wranglings over whether Sao Paulo will erect the 70,000-seater stadium wanted by Fifa. The authorities in the city don’t fancy such a monster because the stadiums which are already there don’t exactly burst at the seams with fans during the football season.
I hear a white elephant approaching.
But for the moment that sound is masked by the samba rhythms and the whiff of caipirinhas. And Seppinho swaying those Swiss hips to a Latin groove.
‘’Is there a big difference between the rhythm in Africa with more drums … between the alegria (happiness) of Brazil?" asked Seppinho.
"I think no," he answered. "I think there’s very little difference and that’s why we are so happy and I use one of the words.... contente alegria..."
Seppinho was slipping between English, French and a Spanish-laced Portuguese. But whatever language he was spouting, you could tell he was chuffed.
He's the first Fifa president to have overseen the first etc etc.
And that takes cojones.